Aussies Abroad: Langerak and Deng return to action in Japan

Mitch Langerak and Thomas Deng will be back on the pitch as the 2021 J. League commences this weekend while Awer Mabil prepares for a top of the table clash in Denmark.

Deng will be the first in action when his Urawa Red Diamonds entertain FC Tokyo on Saturday.

The 23-year-old defender went from strength to strength in his first season in Japan – making 19 appearances and grabbing that long-distance screamer back in August which earned worldwide headlines across the footballing world.

Langerak will have to wait one day longer before his Nagoya Grampus kick off their season against promoted side Avispa Fukuoka.

The Socceroos shot stopper proved to be Nagoya’s saviour last season with his 17 clean sheets a large factor behind his side’s third placed finish which saw them qualify for the upcoming AFC Champions League.

It will be a case of first plays second in the Danish Superligaen on Sunday as Awer Mabil’s Midtjylland host Brondby in the late kick off.

Brondby lead the league however only the solitary point separates them from Mabil’s side who enter this fixture on the back of four straight victories.

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Another cracker is also installed for the weekend as Alex Gersbach and Daniel Arzani’s AGF Aarhus travel to FC Kobenhavn.

The men from the capital sit two points behind Aarhus in fourth spot however they have conceded on 11 more occasions throughout the campaign.

Heading to Scotland where Martin Boyle and Jackson Irvine’s Hibernian host Motherwell in the Premiership on Saturday.

Boyle will be hoping to continue his impressive goalscoring run as his side look to consolidate third place.

Tom Rogic’s Celtic have a tough proposition on their hands as they welcome Aberdeen to Parkhead on Saturday.

A shock 1-0 defeat against St Mirren last time out has seen the gap between Celtic and leaders Rangers increase to 18 points.

In the Championship, Harry Souttar and his Stoke City will be travelling to the capital to take on Brentford on Saturday.

The Potters’ two match winning streak came to an end on Thursday morning after they were outdone by an in-form Barnsley side 2-0.

Trent Sainsbury will look to back up last week’s standout performance when his Kortrijk face off against Zulte Waregem in the Belgian Pro League on Saturday.

The Socceroos captained his side to victory last weekend and even got on the scoresheet in their 2-0 victory.

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Elsewhere, Danny Vukovic could be featuring for Genk when they visit Sporting Charleroi on Friday night.

In nearby Germany, Ajdin Hrustic’s Eintracht Frankfurt meet Werder Bremen in the Friday night kick off slot in the Bundesliga.

Frankfurt will be looking to extend their five-match winning streak which most recently saw them take all three points against Bayern Munich.

Meanwhile, Mathew Leckie will be hoping to be named in the starting line-up for the second week running when Hertha Berlin make the trip to Wolfsburg on Saturday.

In the Greek Super League, James Jeggo will be starring for Aris Thessaloniki when they entertain Atromitos on Sunday.

Over to Serbia where Milos Degenek’s FK Crvena Zvezda have a date with Proleter in the SuperLiga on Sunday.

Kenny Dougall and his Blackpool will be raring to go come Saturday after their midweek fixture was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Next up for the Seasiders will be a clash against Charlton Athletic at The Valley.

In the Thai League, Brandon O’Neill’s Buriram United visit Nakhon Ratchasima in the first of four matches scheduled for Saturday.