Here we go, here we go, here we go!
The FFA Cup is here and Adelaide United will front up for the first time in the new knock-out competition.
And it’s a tough one.
The Reds will face Wellington Phoenix in their first tie on Tuesday evening, one of four fixtures being played on the night.
It will be made all the more tricky for an Adelaide unit without the services of their Head Coach in Josep Gombau, who is preparing to take the helm of the Foxtel A-League All-Stars for their clash with Juventus in Sydney on Sunday.
No-one would begrudge Gombau the opportunity that match presents to him, especially after such a stellar 2013-14 season that not only saw the United playing finals football, but also some of the most entertaining all-season.
Let’s just hope he has fully briefed the coaching staff remaining in Adelaide well enough to come away with the win.
The All Stars match also leaves the Reds without their captain in Socceroo Eugene Galekovic along with playmaker Marcelo Carrusco.
Carrusco especially played a very big part in United’s success last season and more than one player will need to step up to cover his loss.
The Reds pre-season form has been mixed, with a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Spanish side Malaga balanced somewhat by a 1-0 victory over the Glory in Perth.
The match is technically a home game for United but will be played at Marden Sports Complex instead of Hindmarsh Stadium.
Whether the ground itself will be a factor remains to be seen, but the crowd support should provide enough of a spark to lift the home side.
Wellington are missing Albert Riera and Manny Muscat, who are also in Sydney preparing for the All Stars clash, but will be buoyed by their recent victory over West Ham.
It will be our first look at Alex Rodriguez, the Phoenix’s recent signing from Sunderland, who has impressed those who have seen him so far in his new colours.
Adelaide’s team spirit was a major factor in their success last year and, despite the absence of coach and star players, this should still be strong enough to get the result.
Do you think the Reds can win? How far can they go in the FFA Cup?