Mon, Nov 28, 11:39am by Jake Equid
Date and Time: Wednesday November 30, 7:30pm
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
TV: Live on Fox Sports
Wednesday’s FFA Cup final has all the ingredients to be a classic with the A-League’s top two teams ready to square off in a history making match. The Sky Blues, who are still undefeated in the league are gunning for their first ever FFA Cup as are their opponents in this one.
In fact, the hosts are aiming for their first piece of silverware of any kind. It’s a rarity that a cup final is contested by the top two teams in the league, that haven’t met yet this season, which only adds to the anticipation for the match.
Graham Arnold’s Sky Blues are undefeated in the league this season and sits four points clear on top of the table. However, they are coming off their worst performance of the season against the cellar dwellers, Adelaide United – a 0-0 draw in which they only managed a single shot on goal.
The hosts beat the Phoenix 2-1 but didn’t have it all their own way either. Star marquee player started on the bench as rumours continued regarding his Achilles injury, he came on in the 66th minute but knowing how good his record is in big matches, he’ll surely start in this one.
After the weekend’s results, the home side were reeled in from $2.35 to $2.25 to win in regular time with the Sky Blues drifting from $2.70 to $2.90. The draw is also moved out slightly from $3.40 to $3.50.
Being a final, there is also a ‘to lift the cup’ market which has been steady for the past two weeks. Sportsbet has City as $1.57 favourites should the contest go into extra time or even penalties. The visitors are $2.20.
The league-leaders reached the FFA Cup decider without conceding a goal. The pair of internationals, Serbian Milos Ninkovic, who has four goals to his name and Brazilian Bobo who has three goals in the league are both in good touch and will need to be marked closely.
John van ‘t Schip’s side have also impressed in 2016-17, although league losses to Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar have indicated City’s weakness against well organised defences – which Sydney certainly are.
City have been strong starters so far in the A-League – no team has scored more than their eight goals in first halves – while Sydney are the best second-half side with 12 goals after the interval.
Based on that, the $26, which has come in from $31 for City to lead at half-time and Sydney to win could be tempting. Should the decider go to a shootout then you can get $12 for either side to lift the cup.
A man who’ll be in action should that occur is Goalkeeper Danny Vukuvic, who will play his third FFA Cup final in as many years on Wednesday night when he lines up in goal for Sydney.
Continuing a remarkable individual feat, the custodian has played for three different clubs in those three finals. No one else has played more FFA Cup matches than the 31-year-old and no other player has had as much success in the competition as the man many simply refer to as “Vuka”.
Vuka has a record of 1-1 so far in his two finals, he lost for Perth Glory in 2014 then won with Melbourne Victory last season. I’m backing he and his teammates to be too strong here, they have been the standout team so far this season with 18 goals in the league and only conceding three. Their well organised defence will hold out City.
Match (90 minutes)
Sydney FC $2.90
To Lift the Cup
Sydney FC $2.20
Under (2.5 Goals) $1.96
Over (2.5 Goals) $1.78
City / City $3.75
City / Draw $12
City / Sydney FC $26
Draw/ City $6
Draw/ Draw $5
Draw/ Sydney FC $7
Sydney FC / City $23
Sydney FC / Draw $13
Sydney FC / Sydney FC $5
He may no longer be known simply as the 'no pokies' Senator, but Nick Xenophon is determined to pursue further gambling law…
The proposed merger between Tatts and Tabcorp hit another potential hurdle on Wednesday when a third-party consortium, led by Macquarie Group, launched…
One Sydney punter has admitted a $10 bet which he converted into over $66,000 thanks to a 20-leg soccer multi was a…