FFA Cup Match Preview: South Melbourne v City

We’re back for Season 2021/22 and we’re kicking things off with a blockbuster FFA Cup Round of 32 clash against South Melbourne FC.

The City boys will get their first competitive minutes of the new season later tonight when Lakeside Stadium plays host to an intra-Victorian matchup with the two sides eager to progress to the Round of 16.

The clash

Both teams have had to prepare as best they can under unique circumstances leading into the clash, with City’s build-up consisting of a series of friendly matches against Victorian A-Leagues rival Western United.

City remained undefeated over the three-game pre-season series, securing 2-1, 1-1 and 3-1 results. Socceroo pairing Jamie Maclaren and Mathew Leckie (who also caused a United own goal) scored twice each, with Stefan Colakovski rounding out the pre-season scorers.

City’s squad depth will need to be utilised to cover for the absences of Leckie, Maclaren and Andrew Nabbout, with the trio unavailable for the Cup clash while away on national team duties.

The team coped well when faced with a similar predicament ahead of last season’s Izuzu UTE A-League Men’s Finals series, with Colakovski linking up with Marco Tilio and Nathaniel Atkinson on that occasion to a Championship-winning degree of success. Manuel Pucciarelli, Raphael Borges Rodrigues and Max Caputo are also possible selection options in the final third.

Our Round of 32 opposition, South Melbourne, will have faced similar challenges in preparing for tonight’s game, having not featured in a competitive fixture since August.

In their recent 2021 NPL 1 campaign, which was prematurely cancelled after 18 games, South finished 9th out of 14 teams, but boasted the league’s second-best defensive record. Striker Harrison Sawyer and defender Marco Jankovic had top-scored for their side up to that point, netting four times each.  

South Melbourne progressed to the FFA Cup Round of 32 following their penalty shootout victory over Oakleigh Cannons in the seventh round of qualifying, with that fixture ending 0-0 after extra-time. It’s a competition that South have impressed in before, enjoying a run to the Semi-Finals in 2017 when they were knocked out by eventual winners Sydney FC. 

Match Details

FFA Cup Round of 32

South Melbourne FC vs Melbourne City FC

Friday 12 November, kick-off 7:30pm

Lakeside Stadium