FFA Cup Preview – 3 to 7 June

Just nine matches remain in Queensland to determine the four clubs that will progress through to the FFA Cup round of 32. Four of those matches will be played over the next five days and on Sunday night, we’ll know one of the teams that will join the A-League clubs in the main draw.

Here’s our look at the matches being played in Queensland this week.

Lions v Peninsula – Wednesday 3 June, 7:30pm – Lions Stadium, Richlands

Forget Roar v Villarreal, this will be the big game in Brisbane on Wednesday night. This is another in a series of matches in Brisbane’s round six that features the top two sides from their respective competitions meeting each other at this juncture.

Lions remain the only unbeaten club in the Brisbane Premier League, currently in the midst of a twelve-match run and boast the best attacking and defensive record of the league.

Peninsula don’t have the star-studded squad that their opponents boast and have had to toil hard not only to be second in the Premier League but also to get to this point of the Cup competition, grinding out results in their journey to this point.

Honours were shared between the two in their round three league encounter, 1-1 at Power’s home ground.

The winner of this match will host Pine Rivers next Wednesday night.

Redlands v Ipswich Knights – Thursday 4 June, 7:15pm – Cleveland Showgrounds

It’s a rejuvenated Redlands of late. After picking up only two points in their first seven matches in the league, they are unbeaten in their last four matches and claimed the big scalp of Olympic in their previous Cup encounter.

Both clubs sit ninth in their respective leagues but the Knights recent results have been in the opposite direction to their opponents, winning only one of their previous five. It has been a long time between drinks since their last Cup match. Back on 22 April, they claimed a last-minute win in the Ipswich derby against the Western Pride.

Last year’s Brisbane Premier League Gold Medalist, Igor Sao Jose plays comes up against the Knights, the first time he will play against the club he earned that award at.

The winner of this match will host Brisbane Strikers next Tuesday night.

SWQ Thunder v Palm Beach – Saturday 6 June, 5:00pm, Middle Ridge Park, Toowoomba
These two set up their second encounter in a row at this point of the competition as both clubs narrowly scraped through the last round against local Premier League sides, Thunder in extra time against West Wanderers and the Sharks overcame Broadbeach in a penalty shootout.

Thunder are the perennial battlers in the NPL, their only result this year was a 2-2 draw against the Brisbane Roar. Last year’s NPL Premiers, Palm Beach have struggled in scoring goals this year but have done enough to be sitting in the top half of the table.

Palm Beach won this corresponding fixture 4-0 last year and in their league encounter this year, defeated Thunder 3-0 in Toowoomba back on Anzac Day.

Where the next stage leads for the winner is unknown at the moment. Ultimately they will play the winner of the Wide Bay/Sunshine Coast playoff but with the situation around Kawana and player eligibility from an earlier round still to be decided, they may have to wait a while to see whether they will join the final 32.

Frenchville v FNQ Heat – Sunday 7 June, 6:00pm – Ryan Park, Rockhampton

Great to see Frenchville have the hosting rights for this match, it should make for a fantastic atmosphere and hopefully the Rockhampton football community gets behind them.

Frenchville will be a club familiar to many. They were a part of the first iteration of a Queensland state league back in 1979. Currently sitting fourth on the Central Queensland Premier League ladder, that doesn’t provide an accurate picture of their standing as they have three matches in hand on the rest of the competition, a side effect of their FFA Cup commitments. Only the one loss has been suffered in their five league matches so far this year.

The Roos have got to this point of the Cup with a 1-0 win away to Mackay club Whitsunday last weekend. That came with the added obstacle of playing the bulk of the match with 10 men.

FNQ Heat have been inconsistent in the NPL and despite dominating their Cup match last week against the Northern Fury, could only come away with a 1-0 win against the Northern Fury. While they will be short odds to defeat Frenchville, a repeat performance could see a surprise result with a vocal away crowd looking for a fairy-tale story.

The winner of this match will qualify for the FFA Cup final 32 where the A-League clubs enter the competition.