Rudan, Babbel Debut in FFA Cup Rd of 32

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The FFA Cup Round of 32 continues tonight with six matches, including two that pit A-League teams against each other.

Melbourne Victory travel to WA to play Perth Glory, while Melbourne City head north to take on Brisbane Roar.

But plenty of eyes will be on the Melbourne suburb of Cheltenham, because that’s where new Wellington Phoenix head coach Mark Rudan makes his debut in a competitive match.

Rudan, a Sydney FC legend and Fox Sports commentator, had a successful career coaching Sydney United, but took up the challenge across the Tasman with the A-League battlers.

Bentleigh Greens v Wellington Phoenix

The TV cameras may even take a break from showing shots of the smoky souvlaki stands as Rudan and his men face a tricky matchup with Victorian NPL club Bentleigh Greens.

Rudan is highly-regarded and many expect him to change the culture of the New Zealand based club for the better. Will be fascinating to see some of the new signings, including two Poles, keeper Filip Kurto and midfielder Michael Kopcynski.

WIN-DRAW-WIN Markets
$4.33 Bentleigh Greens
$3.75 Draw
$1.62 Wellington Phoenix

Hellenic v Western Sydney Wanderers

Another coach making his Australian debut, former German international Markus Babbel takes the Wanderers to Darwin for a clash with NT NPL club Hellenic. His squad is heavily favoured against the home side, but the 32-degree weather could make it tough for Western Sydney.

WIN-DRAW-WIN Markets
$31 Hellenic
$18 Draw
$1.02 Western Sydney Wanderers

Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City

One of two A-League v A-League matchups and one with plenty of storylines. Roar head coach John Aloisi, of course, was formerly at Melbourne Heart which morphed into Melbourne City. Ex-City midfielder Stefan Mauk makes his Roar debut, while City will be without young star Daniel Arzani, who is expected to transfer to Manchester City and then go on loan to Celtic.

WIN-DRAW-WIN Markets
$2.88 Brisbane Roar
$3.60 Draw
$2 Melbourne City

Gold Coast Knights v Newcastle Jets

It’s being called the biggest game in the history of the Gold Coast Knights, who have only four players with Round of 32 experience. The Jets, meanwhile, have been globe-trotters, playing games in China and Spain but will be without Roy O’Donovan who is still suspended following his infamous challenge in last season’s Grand Final.

WIN-DRAW-WIN Markets
$18 Gold Coast Knights
$9.50 Draw
$1.07 Newcastle Jets

Northcote City v Devonport City

Two years ago, Devonport City became the first and only Tasmanian club to make the FFA Cup Round of 16 and they’re looking to equal that tonight.

They take on Northcote City, who sit near the bottom of the Victorian NPL table. The game will be played at Bulleen’s Veneto Club as opposed to Northcote City’s usual home ground of John Cain Memorial Reserve.

WIN-DRAW-WIN Markets
$1.83 Northcote City
$3.75 Draw
$3.50 Devonport City

Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory

Tony Popovic’s squad gets a home game – Perth’s first ever in the Round of 32 – against Kevin Muscat and Melbourne Victory. Marquee signing Keisuke Honda won’t be in uniform but this should be a close one as evidenced by the betting numbers.

WIN-DRAW-WIN Markets
$2.40 Perth Glory
$3.50 Draw
$2.40 Melbourne Victory

NOTE:

*ODDS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

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