FFA Cup preview: Adelaide United v Sydney FC

An all-Hyundai A-League heavyweight Cup clash pits the reigning FFA Cup holders against a Sydney FC outfit gunning for Westfield FFA Cup revenge after the Reds knocked them out last year.

Adelaide United v Sydney FC

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Coopers Stadium, Hindmarsh (SA)

Kick-off: 7:00pm local (7:30pm AEST)

Referee: Shaun Evans

Tickets: Click here for ticketing details

TV Broadcast: 7:00pm (AEST) Live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 505

Radio broadcast: 5RTI (531AM) or online

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #ADLvSYD

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.Pablo SÁNCHEZ, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA,11.Bruce DJITE, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 13.Dylan SMITH, 14.George MELLS, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Bruce KAMAU, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 19.Eli BABALJ, 20.John HALL (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 24.Jordan PUDLER, 25.Thomas LOVE

Sydney FC squad: 2.Sebastian RYALL, 3.Alex GERSBACH, 4.Zac ANDERSON, 5.Matthew JURMAN, 6.Robert STAMBOLZIEV, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 11.Christopher NAUMOFF, 12.Anthony BOUZANIS (gk), 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE, 16.Riley WOODCOCK, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.Jacques FATY, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.George BLACKWOOD, 25.Aaron CALVER, 26.Max BURGESS, 27.Mikael TAVARES, 28.Lachlan HUGHES


The powerhouse clash of the night sees 2014 Cup winners Adelaide United – now coached by former Barcelona great Guillermo Amor – taking on Graham Arnold’s Sky Blues. This should be special.

These two sides met at the quarter-final stage last year, with the Reds running out controversial 3-1 winners after an epic battle in Sydney. The Sky Blues would love to wreak some revenge on the Reds.

Adelaide made a comfortable start to their Cup defence in the last round, crushing fairytale story Darwin Olympic 6-1 in the Top End.

The Reds slammed home another 11 goals in a hit-out with the Alice Springs All Stars last week, with new signing Eli Babalj scored twice in an encouraging sign, albeit against weak opposition.

With a boisterous home crowd behind them, they’ll be a formidable outfit. And they’ll be desperate to hold onto their crown for another round.

The Sky Blues have been everywhere from the Gold Coast to Canberra over the last fortnight for their pre-season preparations. All part of Arnie’s team bonding plans, we’re told.

He used a very young squad for the side’s round of 32 win over Sorrento FC but is likely to recall some of his big guns to the starting side for this one.

How all the travel this early in their pre-season will affect Sydney remains to be seen. And while the Reds will start slight favourites at home, this cracking tie is on a knife-edge.


Marcelo Carrusca (Adelaide United playmaker)

“For us it is a good challenge to play Sydney FC. Every game is different and they have new players so it is going to be a different game. We’re not worried about anyone because we know this is a tough competition and every team differs.”

Graham Arnold (Sydney FC coach)

“For our preparation for the season it’s a tough draw and it gives us another chance to test ourselves against a quality side. Obviously we’d be prefer to stay closer to home but it’s another trip away so a chance for some more team bonding and for the boys to get to know each other.”



League: Hyundai A-League

Current ladder position: Last season, third in the Hyundai A-League

Latest result:  Defeated Melbourne City 4-3 in Darwin

Who to watch out for: Eli Babalj


League: Hyundai A-League

Current ladder position: Second in the A-League last season

Latest result: Won 3-0 against Belconnen United

Who to watch out for: Shane Smeltz

** For any goal scored by an amateur or semi-professional club against a Hyundai A-League team during the Westfield FFA Cup, NAB will kick-back $2,500 to the goal scorer's club.