Westfield FFA Cup holders Melbourne Victory will find Hume City to be a much tougher proposition at its home ground, according to winger Theo Markelis.
Last year, Victory qualified for the Westfield FFA Cup Final with a 3-0 win over Hume at AAMI Park, where the match was played instead of ABD Stadium – the PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria club's usual home ground.
While Hume gave a decent account of themselves, Victory eventually cruised into the Final with late goals from Kosta Barbarouses and Jason Geria following Besart Berisha's first-half penalty.
This year's Round of 16 tie will be played at ABD Stadium on Wednesday night, and Markelis believes Hume has a greater shot at advancing thanks to its 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 has notched 10 wins, one draw and one loss at home so far this PS4 NPL Victoria 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 over Marconi Stallions in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32.
Markelis says opponents struggle with the size of the pitch in Broadmeadows.
"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 – keeping the ball and having a big ground is always to our advantage," the 24-year-old said.
On Tuesday, Hume claimed another scalp at home with Markelis' stunning 25-yard strike handing Dean Hennessey's side a 1-0 win over Melbourne City in a friendly.
Markelis, who spent the 2012/13 season at Victory, has scored 16 goals in 40 PS4 NPL Victoria matches since joining Hume in May 2015.
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