The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers are hunting their first Westfield FFA Cup semi-final berth when they take on Tim Cahill and Melbourne City at AAMI Park.
Having cruised past Northern NSW NPL outfit Edgeworth Eagles in the Round of 16 last month, the Wanderers will need to defeat a star-studded Melbourne City side in order to progress to the semi-finals.
Both teams hold lofty ambitions of silverware for the upcoming season and with the Hyundai A-League campaign only weeks away it will be the last competitive hit out for both sides with competition commencing on the second weekend of October.
However all eyes will be on AAMI Park on Wednesday for a tasty knockout fixture between two of the tournament favourites.
John van’t Schip’s City side have warmed up to the quarter-final encounter with a pair of hard-fought victories over Floreat Athena and Brisbane Strikers. City survived a brief scare in their first competitive fixture of the season against Perth-based Athena and edged Queensland’s Strikers on the back of a Bruno Fornaroli brace to secure passage into the last eight.
The Citizens have been beaten handily in their other notable pre-season fixtures against Wellington Phoenix and Newcastle Jets with van’t Schip’s team going down 4-1 and 4-0 in their respective friendlies.
There will undoubtedly be a different feel around last season’s fourth-placed finishers when they take to the field against the Red & Black.
The high profile acquisitions of Tim Cahill and former Brisbane Roar stalwart Luke Brattan has seen City attempt to stabilise their talented squad following the loss of Aaron Mooy to English heavyweights Manchester City.
With the natural firepower of Cahill and Bruno Fornaroli, who netted twice against Tony Popovic’s side last season, and the likes of Anthony Caceres and Bruce Kamau the Wanderers will need to ensure they put in a strong showing in order to better last year’s quarter final exit.
Melbourne City FC v Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Wednesday 21 September 2016 AAMI Park, Melbourne
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