Gold Coast Knights v Melbourne Victory
Croatian Sports Centre, Gold Coast
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Kick-off: 8.30pm AEDT
Watch on 10play.com.au
Melbourne Victory is targeting a place in the FFA Cup quarter-finals when it makes the trip to take on the Gold Coast Knights on Wednesday.
Just four days after a pulsating Melbourne Derby draw against City, Victory will be on the Gold Coast for a Round of 16 clash.
Victory has lost just one of seven games in all competitions this season ahead of taking on the Knights.
Squad rotation is again expected, with Victory also facing Western United in a blockbuster Isuzu UTE A-League encounter at AAMI Park on Boxing Day.
Victory’s FFA Cup run so far has included hard-fought wins over Perth Glory and Adelaide City, booking a spot in the last 16.
If Tony Popovic’s side can get past Gold Coast, it will return to Adelaide for a third time in this cup campaign – to face rival United.
Victory is coming off a 2-2 Derby draw against City, Nick D’Agostino’s equaliser earning a point after Francesco Margiotta’s early goal was cancelled out.
Margiotta and D’Agostino have both scored two goals for Victory this season.
Mostly youthful Victory sides have competed in the FFA Cup so far this year, with Anthony Leban the hero from the penalty spot in both games.
Aaron Anderson, 21, Zaydan Bello, 19, Birkan Kirdar, 19, Jay Barnett, 20, and Lleyton Brooks, 20, have all started both matches.
Player in focus
Nishan Velupillay, 20, has caught the eye this season, including scoring the winner away to Adelaide United earlier this month. The attacker could get more of a chance against Gold Coast.
What they said
“Players always say they love playing games so we have an opportunity where we’re still in the cup. It will be a chance, I’m sure some young players will have to play, whether by choice or not. Some players won’t be able to back up mid-week and then we have another great game against Western United, so if you’re anyone at Melbourne Victory as a footballer right now it’s something to look forward to that there’s another big game coming up here on Boxing Day and against an opponent that’s doing very well.” – Victory Head Coach Popovic after the Derby.