The squads have been announced and the prize on the line in tomorrow night’s Westfield FFA Cup Final carries extra impetus for both clubs as they prepare for the 2015 decider.
The second year of the Westfield FFA Cup began with 648 clubs from around the country, and now the two teams left vying for the 2015 title are the reigning Hyundai A-League Premiers and Champions, and last year’s defeated Cup finalists.
Perth Glory are featuring on the Westfield FFA Cup’s biggest day for the second year running and will be aiming to go one better after being edged out by Adelaide United in the inaugural Final last December.
For Melbourne Victory, Kevin Muscat’s team has the opportunity to achieve a rare and unique feat of holding all three of Australia’s major football trophies at the same time – the Hyundai A-League Premiers Plate, Championship, and Westfield FFA Cup trophy.
“What tomorrow represents is a big opportunity for us to win a trophy…it’s about preparing to be at our best because if we’re at our best we give ourselves a very good chance of winning,” Muscat said at the official pre match media conference earlier today.
But if Melbourne Victory are to triumph they will need to topple a Perth Glory outfit that continue to back up their reputation as the Cup kings. The team from Western Australia disposed of Melbourne City FC in the last four and will be bolstered with the return of captain Richard Garcia for the decider after he missed the Semi Final through suspension.
“If someone said to me that you could play in a Cup Final I’m not bothered where it is…and we’re really looking forward to the day,” Perth Glory Head Coach Kenny Lowe said.
“It’s going to be tough, it’s a great place to come, the pitch is magnificent, there will be a superb atmosphere and we’re playing against a very good team which you’d expect in any Cup Final. Hopefully we’ll come out the end of it with a happy face.”
If the Westfield FFA Cup Final 2015 is still level after 90 minutes, Lowe will feel confident in his side’s ability to go the distance and prevail as three of the Glory’s four Cup wins this year have come in either extra time or courtesy of a penalty shootout.
By contrast, Melbourne Victory have won each of their matches in regulation time, and forward Besart Berisha looms as a key figure up front for the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions, the Albanian having scored in each of Victory’s Cup matches this year, while he also has an ominous record against Perth.
But Perth Glory also have players who have started to find their scoring form, new signings Gyorgy Sandor and Guyon Fernandez showing promising signs while Chris Harold has also struck twice in this Cup campaign.
One player that knows both clubs well is Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic. The shot stopper was in the Perth Glory side that lost the Cup Final last year, and this time around he will be hoping to be celebrating with a winner’s medal as he comes up against his former club.
Perth Glory have reason to go into the match with confidence as they were the only team not to lose to Melbourne Victory last season, and with so much on the line, it promises to be a classic Westfield FFA Cup Final.
With Mark Viduka unable to attend the Final, his good friend and former Socceroos team mate Josip Skoko will present the Mark Viduka Medal to the best player in the Final. The voting panel for the medal will comprise of Skoko, Socceroos Head Coach Ange Postecoglou and FFA Head of National Performance Luke Casserly.
As part of Westfield FFA Cup Final 2015 day, there will be a Pre-Game Cup Carnival starting at 5pm in the precinct at Gosch’s Paddock on the eastern side of AAMI Park with activities and fun for the whole family. The gates to AAMI Park open at 6pm.
Tickets for the match are still available. Click here for details. The match will be LIVE and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 505 with coverage from 7pm AEDT.
Westfield FFA Cup Final 2015 – Preview
Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory
Saturday 7 November 2015
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 7:30pm AEDT (4:30pm AWST)
Referee: Ben Williams
Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7:00pm (AEDT)
Radio Broadcast: 774 ABC Melbourne, 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio Vic, ABC Local Radio WA, Grandstand Digital, online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App
SEN Radio 1116AM Melbourne and online
Click here to go to the official match centre
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #FFACupFinal #MVCvPER
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 2.Jason GERIA, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 11.Connor PAIN, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.Matthieu DELPIERRE, 19.George HOWARD, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 22.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 24.Thomas DENG
**Two to be omitted**
Perth Glory squad: 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Marc WARREN, 5.Antony GOLEC, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Gyorgy SANDOR, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA (c), 12.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Hagi GLIGOR, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Mitch OXBORROW, 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Guyon FERNANDEZ, 23.Michael THWAITE
**Two to be omitted**