Tue, Sep 27, 3:36pm by Roy Skillen
We take a look at the two FFA cup quarter-finals to be played on Tuesday.
Bentleigh Greens Vs Melbourne Victory
When the FFA copied the concept for their knockout cup competition from the English it was surely fixtures like this one that had them licking their lips with anticipation. The Bentleigh Greens have been the dominant force in Victoria’s NPL competition in recent years and they will face off against the powerhouse of A-League football. The match will take place at Bentleigh’s Kingston Heath ground in front of a packed house of 3000 fans, while the smell of a succulent chicken souvlaki drifts around the stands. As long as there is no trouble, this game is sure to put the round ball code to the fore of the sporting landscape in Australia at a time of year when the egg ball usually dominates.
But does Bentleigh really have a chance of causing an upset?
The Greens clinched the 2015 NPL Victoria Premiership and League double before backing it up with the 2016 League tile. Their squad is built on a strong base of players with A-League or European experience including former Victory youth player Luc Jeggo, quality midfielder Tyson Holmes, and Football Superstar winners Luke Pilkington and Liam McCormick. It’s a strong backbone of an ambitious club that will be looking to prove they could one day compete at A-League level. But Kevin Muscat and the Melbourne Victory board have recruited well in the pre season. The return of club legends Marco Rojas and James Troisi have fans and pundits predicting another successful season for the blues. The new look Victory team destroyed Sydney FC 3-0 in a recent behind closed doors match and will be looking to continue this form as they go about defending their FFA Cup title.
William Hill Market:
Bentleigh Greens $8.00
Melbourne Victory $1.22
Canberra Olympic Vs Green Gully
Green Gully made headlines when they became just the second lower league club to despatch of an A-League team from the FFA Cup. Two stunning late goals secured a 2-1 victory against their more illustrious rivals and built up the hope of all NPL teams. Their form has been a little mixed since then though. They beat eventual NPL Victoria Premiers The Oakleigh Cannons 1-0 before losing heavily to South Melbourne but the Victorian outfit will still go in to this tie as favourites with William Hill.
Canberra will be no pushovers though. They were beaten last time out by the Brisbane Strikers 3-2 but that only ended a run 12 matches with out a loss. A run that saw them score a whopping 38 goals. There is no doubt that the NPL Victoria competition is of a higher standard, but with home advantage in a one off tie Canberra Olympic could very well be worth an outside bet.
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