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Original Rivalry returns to the FFA Cup

Ross Aloisi

Wednesday night sees the return of the FFA Cup 2021 as Adelaide United host Melbourne Victory in a Quarter Final clash at Coopers Stadium.

Adelaide recorded a first win of the season on New Year’s Day with a 4-0 rout of Wellington Phoenix, but the personnel involved in that clash will likely be vastly different.

Carl Veart post Wellington confirmed there will likely be wholesale changes given the short turnaround.

The Reds boss intimated young players may get the chance to play with players unavailable due to testing positive for COVID-19.

However, Veart will not be in the dugout for the next two games after testing positive himself for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning.

Assistant, Ross Aloisi, will assume the role as interim Head Coach for the Club’s next two games and while confirming the rest of the squad is available for selection, it is expected some will be rested with a busy schedule ahead.

Wednesday’s contest will be the third Original Rivalry meeting in the competition with the pair recording a win each.

Adelaide succumbed to a 2-1 quarter final defeat in 2015 – the Reds’ last cup loss in normal time – before securing a comprehensive 3-0 triumph in the Round of 16 two years later.

Victory have the bragging rights this season after edging United 2-1 at Coopers Stadium in mid-December and the pair incidentally meet again in the league on Saturday.

What the expert says

Bruce Djite: I think this is a game which will give us all a glimpse into the ability of the up and coming players at each club. As both clubs continue to contend with COVID impacted match schedules. Form will more or less go out the window, considering the nature of the rivalry and what I predict to be numerous line-up changes.

One to watch

Bruce Djite: Bernardo Oliveira. He has been showing glimpses of what he can do and as he continues to adapt to A-League level football, I expect him to become more and more influential.

Key battle

Bruce Djite: Ross Aloisi vs Tony Popovic.
Ross is a future head coach, anyone who knows him or has worked with him knows this. It will be intriguing to see him up against an experienced Head Coach in Tony Popovic.

One change you’d like to see

Bruce Djite: I would like to see Yaya Dukuly start.

Prediction

Bruce Djite: I think the game will be an open and exciting one, especially as I predict a greater proportion of young players will be taking the field. I think Victory will win this one, considering the number of Adelaide players missing due to COVID.

Road to the Quarter Finals

Adelaide United

Round of 32: 3-1 win (aet) vs Floreat Athena
Round 16: 1-0 win vs Adelaide Olympic

Melbourne Victory

Play-off: 1-1 draw (aet), 4-3 on penalties vs Perth Glory
Round of 32: 1-0 win vs Adelaide City
Round of 16:
2-1 win (aet) vs Gold Coast Knights

FFA Cup record

Adelaide United

2014 – Winners
2015 – Quarter Final
2016 – Round of 32
2017 – Runners-up
2018 – Winners
2019 – Winners
2020 – Competition not held

Melbourne Victory

2014 – Quarter Final
2015 – Winners
2016 – Semi-final
2017 – Round of 16
2018 – Round of 16
2019 – Round of 32
2020 – Competition not held

Match details:
Wednesday, 5 January 2022 vs Melbourne Victory
FFA Cup 2021 Quarter Final
Kick-off 7.15pm ACDT
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Stream: Live and Free via 10 play