FFA Cup title-holders Melbourne Victory will find Hume City to be a much tougher proposition on their home ground, according to winger Theo Markelis.
Last year, Victory qualified for the FFA Cup final with a 3-0 win over Hume at AAMI Park with the NPL Victoria club’s home ground ABD Stadium being rejected as a possible venue.
While Hume gave a decent account of themselves, Victory eventually cruised into the tournament’s decider with late goals from Kosta Barbarouses and Jason Geria following Besart Berisha’s first-half penalty.
Football Federation Australia has accepted ABD Stadium for this year’s Round of 16 tie and Markelis reckons Hume will have a greater shot at advancing on Wednesday thanks to genuine home ground advantage.
“In all honesty, I think it does make a difference because prior to the semi-final in the FFA Cup last year we had played them at our ground in a friendly game and they had basically their full squad playing as well, and we nearly beat them,” Markelis told Goal Australia.
“We lost 4-3 in the end. We’re strong at our ground.”
Hume have notched 10 wins, one draw and one loss at home in NPL Victoria so far this season, while Markelis and Co. are on an 11-game winning streak in all competitions at ABD Stadium this year, including their penalty shootout triumph against Marconi in the FFA Cup Round of 32.
Markelis reckons opponents struggle with the size of the pitch in Melbourne’s north.
“We’ve got probably one of the biggest grounds in Victoria… we play good on that big ground and that’s the style of football we play – always keeping the ball and having a big ground is always to our advantage,” the 24-year-old said.