Before Melbourne City and Adelaide United do battle in Wednesday night’s FFA Cup 2019 Final, the two sides will square off in the Hyundai A-League clash on Sunday afternoon.
It’s not only the chance to land an early psychological advantage before the Cup decider, but also resume a growing rivalry between the two sides.
While both clubs would probably rank Melbourne Victory as their biggest grudge match, there has always been a sense of spite when the Reds have taken on the City sky blue.
Much of the disdain stems from the number of players that have switched between clubs in recent years.
Among the squads that are set to face-off on Wednesday night as many as five players who have featured for both clubs.
Adelaide skipper Michael Jakobsen started his career in Australia at City and was part of their side which lifted the FFA Cup in 2016.
Reds midfielder Riley McGree, who started his career in Adelaide, spent last season on loan at City from parent-club Club Brugge, before he was signed by the Reds ahead of the 2019/20 Season.
The City side could have as many as three players who have previously played for Adelaide, including right-back Scott Galloway who won the FFA Cup with the Reds in 2018.
City skipper Scott Jamieson started his Hyundai A-League career at Adelaide, while Rostyn Griffiths also had a short stint at Coopers Stadium in 2009.
On the pitch, there has also been some epic battles between the two clubs in recent seasons that has helped forge the rivalry.
It was at AAMI Park where Adelaide United won the Premiers’ Plate back in 2016, which also saw a heated melee involving most of the players and some coaching staff.
The Reds went on to eliminate City in the Grand Final qualifier a few weeks later on the way to winning the Championship that season.
And it was Adelaide who again got bragging rights over City just last season, prevailing 1-0 in a gripping Elimination Final at Coopers Stadium, thanks to Ben Halloran’s late goal in extra time.
Can City get one over the Reds this time and became the first side to win the FFA Cup interstate, or will Adelaide get their hands on the trophy for a third time in six years?
Whichever way it goes, it’s sure to be another memorable chapter in this growing rivalry.