The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers will officially kick-off their season when they host Wellington Phoenix in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 tonight at Campbelltown Stadium.
It’ll be the second consecutive year the two sides have met at this stage in the tournament, following the Wanderers’ 3-2 come-from-behind win in last year’s edition.
Youngster Lachlan Scott was the hero that night, bagging a brace on his first team debut to push his team into the Round of 16.
Both sides will put out vastly different line-ups to the ones that featured that night, with the Red & Black boasting no less than a dozen new off-season signings.
Chief among them are marquee men Oriol Riera and Álvaro Cejudo.
Riera could well lead the line against the Nix though Cejudo will play no part in the match after only arriving in the country over the weekend.
Tony Popovic will also have to do without returning club idol Mark Bridge, who is still awaiting official clearance from his transfer home, as well as the suspended Jaushua Sotirio.
Popovic will otherwise have a full squad to choose from and is expected to hand competitive Wanderers debuts to a number of players following last month’s exhibition match against Arsenal, including midfielder Roly Bonevacia, who will square off against his former side.
Wellington come into the match having lost a number of key players in the off-season, including Kosta Barbarouses, Shane Smeltz and Glen Moss.
New coach Darije Kalezic will be hoping to impress in his first official outing as boss, while Nix fans will be keen to see a glimpse of new signing and former Croatian youth midfielder Goran Paracki.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Wellington Phoenix
Tuesday 1 August, 7:30pm
TV: Streamed live at https://www.foxsports.com.au/football/ffa-cup/live-stream
Radio: Hawkesbury Radio
Online: Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WSWvWEL