Four Round of 32 fixtures you can't afford to miss

The era of Premier League great Robbie Fowler at Brisbane Roar begins with an FFA Cup Round of 32 trip to Sydney FC - one of the standout fixtures made in Wednesday's national round draw.

That all-Hyundai A-League clash is one of four we've pencilled in as fixtures you must not miss when the Round of 32 fixture details are released.

What are the others? Read on to find out.

DRAW: Round of 32 revealed
FLASHBACK: Five incredible FFA Cup giant-killings
SCHEDULE: Everything you need to know about the Final Rounds

Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar

Liverpool legend Fowler has been given challenging circumstances in which to begin his reign at Brisbane Roar and start his career in full-time coaching: an away trip to Hyundai A-League Champions Sydney.

The former Premier League marksman may only have had three weeks on the pitch with his Brisbane side – who have recruited six new players and will unveil two more signings on Thursday – by the time Roar face Steve Corica’s Sky Blues.

But with fans in Australia and around the world watching Fowler’s debut, Brisbane will want to make a big impression. And what better way for the Queenslanders to flag their lofty ambitions than by sending the three-time finalists and 2017 champions packing?

Maitland FC v Central Coast Mariners

Their presence alone in the Round of 32 draw is evidence enough of Maitland FC’s trajectory, which has only gone up since the club ended a 12-year stint outside the top flight by winning promotion to the Northern NSW NPL in 2014.

But if the NNSW middleweights were to claim the scalp of Alen Stajcic’s Central Coast Mariners, the Magpies – the former club of inaugural World Cup Caltex Socceroos Col Curren and Ray Baartz - would well and truly put themselves back on the map.

READ: Back from the wilderness, Maitland are gunning for FFA Cup glory

They’ll more than fancy their chances of a giant-killing in the coalfields. The Mariners have been knocked out twice in the Round of 32 by state league opposition, beaten 2-1 by Green Gully in 2016 and losing 3-2 to Blacktown City in the 2017 edition.

Another shock exit would be the worst possible way for Stajcic to start his first full season at the helm, and a situation the Gosford club will be absolutely desperate to avoid, meaning this fixture should be packed with intensity.

Alen Stajcic and the Mariners are in for a tough battle against Maitland

South Hobart v Marconi Stallions

They wanted to draw a Hyundai A-League club, but a Round of 32 date with ex-National Soccer League powerhouse Marconi Stallions will do just nicely for South Hobart. 

South – back in the tournament for a third time and the first since 2015 – are aiming to banish heartbreaking memories of penalty shootout defeats to Tuggeranong (2014) and Sydney United 58 (2015).

Long-serving coach Ken Morton was at the helm for both of those defeats, and hopes it will be third time lucky in 2019, against a Stallions side boasting one of the NPL NSW’s most talented rosters but currently languishing in a disappointing ninth position.

“I think at home it's winnable, we have a chance, but let’s not jump the gun, they’re a good side coming out of a strong competition,” Morton told The Mercury.

“The NPL in Sydney is strong, so we’ll have to do our homework and we’ll have to be at our best. It’s a super, super draw for us.”

Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers

Hyundai A-League Premiers Perth Glory have a taste for silverware now, and the two-time FFA Cup finalists will be looking to go all the way in 2019.

That would be some signal of intent from Tony Popovic's side - the Hyundai A-League benchmark in 2018/19 - but standing in the way are the Glory taskmaster’s former employers, Western Sydney Wanderers.

Pre-season is building nicely for the Wanderers, who have added some exciting international talent to their roster and can look forward to playing at their Parramatta home again. 

Markus Babbel's side will have warmed up for their trip to WA with what is sure to be a fiery clash against Championship club Leeds United on July 20. Are the Wanderers the real deal this season? Beating Perth would hint that they just might be.

Former Hannover midfielder Pirmin Schwegler (left) could make his competitive debut for the Wanderers in the FFA Cup