FFA Cup Match Preview: APIA Leichhardt v Western Sydney Wanderers

APIA Leichhardt enjoyed one of the most famous nights of their recent history in an FFA Cup Round of 16 clash at Leichhardt Oval, and after prevailing in a Cup classic last week, they’re looking to do it all over again. 

Back in 2018 it was the reigning A-League Men’s Champions Melbourne Victory who were toppled by the NPL NSW outfit, who last week booked another glamour fixture – this time against the Western Sydney Wanderers – following a dramatic 3-0 win over Capital Football outfit Cooma Tigers.

It was a Cup tie where the scoreline did not go close to telling the full story, with APIA pushed to their limits by a stubborn, nine-man Tigers side. 

While goals to Sean Symons and new signings Jason Romero and Jack Armson sealed his side’s passage, Danial Cummins has plenty to think about off the back of last week’s encounter after injury forced the withdrawal of five key players: David D’Apuzzo, Matthew Cahill, Tynan Diaz, Paul Galimi and Corey Biczo.  

How to watch the FFA Cup in 2021

With only one game under their belt since June, the 2019 NPL NSW Champions will need utlise all of their squad depth if they are to defy the odds and upset the Wanderers – a team entering this contest off the back of their first league win this season. 

Having assembled a star-studded squad, there is plenty of expectation upon the shoulders of Carl Robinson and the Red and Black to ensure this year is the year they turn around the club’s recent fortunes. 

The club are yet to reach a FFA Cup Final, and will have their sights set on overcoming APIA to continue a solid cup run in 2021. 

A combination of youth and experience saw them overcome NPL Northern NSW side Broadmeadow Magic a month ago, with 16-year-old Alexander Badolato scoring on debut to help seal a comfortable 3-0 triumph. 

 Alexander Badolato
Youngster Alexander Badolato will be eager to make an impression in the Cup again

Robinson is likely to deploy a similar mix of academy products and high-profile signings on Tuesday night at Leichhardt Oval, as the A-League Men’s side look to stave off any threat of a potential Cupset. 

While the likes of Wollongong Wolves and Adelaide City have gone close in the last week, no NPL side have managed to topple their favoured opposition this year, but as one of three state-base clubs left in the competition, the team based in Sydney’s inner-West will be out to achieve exactly that. 

Following Sunday’s Quarter Final draw, it was confirmed that the winner of this matchup will face the Central Coast Mariners for a place in the final four. 

Will it be APIA who forge another unforgettable boilover, or will the Wanderers book their ticket to the last eight? 

All will be revealed on Tuesday night, so be sure to buy your tickets if you are in the area, or alternatively tune in to the action live and free on 10 play. 

FFA Cup 2021 Round of 16

APIA Leichhardt vs Western Sydney Wanderers
 Tuesday, 7 December 2021, 7:30pm AEDT
Venue: Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
Broadcast: Live & free via 10 Play
Tickets: Buy here