The final two FFA Cup quarter final matches will be played tonight, with three NPL sides in action. Adelaide United and Sydney FC await the winners.
Blacktown City vs Western Sydney Wanderers
The draw for the FFA Cup has thrown up a mouthwatering western Sydney derby between Blacktown City and the Western Sydney Wanderers. The Wanderers will go into the match as favourites, but will have to be wary as no match at this stage of the competition is a given.
Blacktown have been no strangers to giant-slaying, having already claimed the scalp of Central Coast in the Round of 32 and will be desperate to add their local rivals to the list.
A win for either team would be their best ever performance in the FFA Cup. This is Blacktown's second and Western Sydney's third apperance in the quarter final stage of the competition.
Blacktown's prolific forward Joey Gibbs said their win over the Mariners would give them extra confidence to beat the Wanderers.
"It fills us with confidence and it's not blind confidence, it's proven confidence so we'll be going into the game knowing it's possible," he said.
Meanwhile, Wanderers coach Tony Popovic acknowledged Blacktown's exceptional record in the Cup but was confident his side could get the job done.
"They've had good success in this competition. They're playing at home and they will be excited and they will want to try and get an A-League scalp," he said.
"It's up to us to perform well, we know it will be a difficult game but we are also expected to win – that's a mindset we have to go down with."
New signings Raúl Llorente and Álvaro Cejudo may make their debuts for the Wanderers in the clash.
The match will kick-off at 7:30 PM AEST at Lily Homes Stadium, Sydney.
Gold Coast City vs South Melbourne
While the other match tonight is a strictly local affair, tonight's match up between South Melbourne and Gold Coast City is anything but that. It is the only clash between two NPL-sides in this round of the Cup, so should theoretically be a fairly even match.
South Melbourne raised the stakes earlier this week, declaring tonight's game would be the club's audition for an A-League licence and one of their most important games since the NSL disbanded over a decade ago.
South Melbourne chairman Bill Papastergiadis said this would be the best opportunity to show the FFA why they deserved to be part of an expanded A-League.
"It would be a fantastic opportunity for the club to play in front of 12,000 people at Lakeside."
"On so many levels this is a really important game," he said.
South also have extra motivation to win tonight, given they were knocked out of the competition by Gold Coast City (then known as Palm Beach) in 2015, but coach Chris Taylor was quick to downplay that aspect.
For Gold Coast, a win would eclipse their previous best effort in the competition, a quarter final appearance in 2014.
It is a huge fixture for both teams. A victory would almost certainly grant them a home game against an A-League powerhouse and should relish the exposure that comes with it.
South will be without captain Brad Norton, who in a quirk of semi-professional football, is overseas. Gold Coast have no such selection dilemmas with 23-year-old star Roman Hoffman returning from exchange in the Netherlands to take part in the match.
"It feels great to be back. I'm really excited for the game after being away for two-and-a-half weeks," Hoffman said.
"I'm really grateful for the assistance of the club to be here and I have every intention of repaying that faith from the club, the coaches and the president now I'm back.
"It shows that the club do value me and value my input this season. Their assistance with getting me back for this game shows they think I can make a difference in the game."
The match will kick-off at 7:30 PM AEST at Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast.