FFA Cup 2019 Preview: Opening night of the Round of 32

That is the trophy they are all competing for. The serious business kicks up a level on FFA Cup 2019 Round of 32 opening night.

Teams from all corners of the country entered and the cream of the member federations has risen to the top. The best 22 remain and they are joined by those 10 Hyundai A-League giants in the mother of all Australian knockout competitions.

On Wednesday 24 July, it's the National Premier Leagues' turn to take centre stage. Twelve of the NPL's finest, from across five states and territories, go head-to-head in our opening night extravaganza.

HOW TO WATCH: Opening night of the Round of 32

We have matches live from Darwin, Mackay, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, featuring teams contending for their fairytale moment on the national stage. 

Competitive football is back. Let's do this.

Brisbane Olympic v Bayswater City

Wednesday’s Round of 32 action gets off to a flyer on Fox Sports at 7.30pm AEST, with WA club Bayswater City making a 4,300km journey to Queensland to face Brisbane Olympic.

With 77 goals scored from just 22 matches, Olympic have been the NPL QLD entertainers in 2019 and possess a bona fide goalscoring weapon in Chris Lucas.

The former Bentleigh Greens star, and the likes of ex-Hyundai A-League midfielder Alex Smith and Jez Lofthouse, must be marshalled closely by the visiting Bayswater defence.

Bayswater were beaten 2-1 by Floreat Athena in the WA BeltUp State Cup Final on the weekend and will need to bounce back swiftly or risk being sent packing.

OLYMPIC FC ULTIMATE GUIDE: Queensland juggernaut ready to shine
BAYSWATER CITY GUIDE: Riding the crest of a wave

Darwin Olympic v Edgeworth 

Darwin Olympic are aiming to become the first-ever club from the Northern Territory to reach the Round of 16 when they welcome Edgeworth to the Top End.

As the NT’s first-ever national round competitors in 2015, Olympic are used to the big stage and will be fancy their chances at eliminating an Edgeworth side missing several key players.

Defenders Josh Evans and Mitch Dobson are among the absences the hosts will try to exploit, with veteran forward Michael Tsounias and strike partner Tega Adjeke primed to capitalise.

However, the Eagles are seasoned FFA Cup competitors and will be entering the clash high on confidence after securing a 3-1 win over Maitland on the weekend, a result which maintained the club’s ascendancy at the Northern NSW summit.

DARWIN OLYMPIC ULTIMATE GUIDE: Top End club looking to make FFA Cup history
EDGEWORTH ULTIMATE GUIDE: Vintage Mariners connection still ready to fire for Eagles

Mount Druitt Town Rangers v Manly United

History will be created at the end of this all-NSW affair between Mount Druitt Town Rangers and Manly United.

Either the Rangers will secure a Round of 16 ticket at the very first attempt, or United will make it past the Round of 32 stage at the third time of asking.

There’s already very little to separate these two, who have each registered a win apiece and played out a draw in their three 2019 meetings so far.

Although Manly arguably boast greater X-factor with the likes of Brendan Cholakian and Dejan Pandurevic, Aidan Desmond’s Rangers are no easy-beats, highlighted by the fact they knocked out NPL NSW premiers-elect Wollongong Wolves to book their national round appearance.

MANLY UNITED ULTIMATE GUIDE: Boys from the beaches ready to make their mark

Bulleen Lions v Moreland Zebras

It will be an NPL Victoria derby steeped in Australian national football league history when Bulleen Lions host Moreland Zebras.

These two famous clubs merged with each other in 1997 to become Bulleen Inter Kings, and there’s bound to be plenty more ‘coming together’ at David Barro Stadium.

Fireworks will be guaranteed with the likes of experienced Bulleen marksman Ben Everson and Moreland striker Thomas Barforosh supplying their ammunition.

BULLEEN LIONS ULTIMATE GUIDE: Historic clash on the horizon
MORELAND ULTIMATE GUIDE: Former Aussie champs set to shine on national stage

Adelaide Olympic v Floreat Athena

After securing the 2019 BeltUp State Up Final in a come from behind win over Bayswater City at the weekend, Floreat Athena already have the taste for silverware.

Next up for the WA club is a trip to the City of Churches to tackle NPL SA giants Adelaide Olympic, who are entering the Round of 32 stage for the first time in their history.

35-cap Albania international Kristi Vangjeli has shared the football pitch with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi before and will be a key man if Adelaide is to prevent Floreat captain Dean Evans and top striker Robert Petkov returning west with a Round of 16 date teed up.

ADELAIDE OLYMPIC ULTIMATE GUIDE: Debutants ready to make an impression
FLOREAT ATHENA ULTIMATE GUIDE: WA club could throw an FFA Cup surprise

Magpies Crusaders v Coomera Colts

Two FFA Cup debutants lock horns when the competition’s youngest club Magpies Crusaders entertain Gold Coast minnows Coomera Colts.

The team from Mackay might be in 12th position on the NPL Queensland ladder, but it appears the Crusaders are well set up for the cut-throat nature of Cup football.

But they’ll be wary of a potential banana skin in Coomera who have upset all the odds in making it to the Round of 32 stage.

Look out for the pace and skillset of Colts winger Ferdinand Annor, while Nottingham-born forward Michael Lyall is one to watch in Crusaders colours.

COOMERA COLTS GUIDE: Gold Coast minnows have potential to stun

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