Aussies Abroad: Leckie set for historic Berlin derby, Boyle and Rogic in Semi Final showdown

Matthew Leckie could be part of Germany football history as Hertha and city rivals Union Berlin contest the Bundesliga’s first Berlin Derby since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Newly promoted Union Berlin are embarking on their inaugural Bundesliga season after earning promotion from the 2.Bundesliga via the playoffs in 2018/19. They currently sit in 15th, while Leckie’s Hertha are placed 11th. 

Hertha and Union have met in the lower leagues but Stadion an der Alten Försterei will be the venue for the maiden top-flight contest between these storied clubs as a once divided city is united on Sunday at 4.30am AEDT. 

However, this is not the Bundesliga’s first all-Berlin clash. Four previous derbies have been played between Hertha and Tennis Borussia between 1975 and 1977, the most recent of which was 12 years before the Wall came down.

Caltex Socceroo Leckie came on as a substitute at half-time in extra-time during Hertha’s penalty shootout win over Dynamo Dresden, following a 3-3 draw, in the DFB Cup on Thursday AEDT.

Elsewhere in Germany, third-placed Freiburg SC face a trip to Bremen to play mid-table Werder at the Weserstadion at 1.30am AEDT on Sunday.

A win for Brandon Borello’s side, who lie two points off the top, would keep up the pressure on Borussia Monchengladbach at the Bundesliga’s summit.

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Rogic and Boyle in Semi Final square off 

Celtic’s Tom Rogic and Martin Boyle of Hibernian will go head-to-head as their clubs seek to book their place in the Scottish League Cup Final.

Boyle made a goal-scoring return from a knee injury which kept him sidelined for three-months in midweek, while Rogic sat out the Hoops 2-0 win against St Mirren.

Rogic has lifted the trophy with Celtic in each of the past three years, and scored in the 2016/17 final, while Hibs were beaten finalists in a 2-1 defeat against Ross County in 2015-16.

The Semi Final will be played at Easter Road on Sunday at 4.30am AEDT, while Rangers and Hearts face off on the other side of the draw.

Mooy back as Seagulls host Canaries

Aaron Mooy returns after serving a one-match suspension as Brighton & Hove Albion host Norwich City in the Premier League on Sunday at 2am AEDT.

Mooy will be pushing for a return to Graham Potters’ starting line up alongside Caltex Socceroos number one Maty Ryan (or should we say Baty Ryan? see tweet below) at the AMEX Stadium, although the 14th-placed Seagulls did record a 3-2 win against Everton last weekend.

At the same time, in the Championship, Jackson Irvine and Massimo Luongo are both on the road with Irvine’s Hull City travelling to London to face Fulham, while Sheffield Wednesday make the short trip across Lancashire to play Blackburn.

In another all-Lancashire clash, Harry Souttar’s Fleetwood Town go to Bolton Wanderers in League One, while Mark Milligan and Southend United head further north to Sunderland. All of those matches take place at 2am AEDT Sunday.

There is Caltex Socceroos interest on Saturday at 6.45am AEDT, as Bailey Wright and Bristol City play away against Barnsley in the Championship.


Taggart gunning for more goals

Adam Taggart is aiming to continue his hot-scoring streak as he battles Junior Negrão of Ulsan Hyundai for the K-League’s Golden Boot.

Taggart’s Suwon Bluewings entetain Seongnam at the Big Bird Stadium kicks-off at 4pm AEDT on Saturday. Both Taggart and the Brazilian have 18 goals for the season.

At the same time, gloveman Mitch Langerak will be between the posts for Nagoya Grampus Eight at Consadole Sapporo in Japan’s J-League.

At 2am AEDT on Saturday, Craig Goodwin runs out for Al-Wedha as they go on the road against Al-Raed in the Saudi Pro League.

Milos Degenek challenges for a header with Tottenham's Dele Alli
Milos Degenek challenges for a header with Tottenham's Dele Alli in the UEFA Champions League.

Red Star go for seven straight wins

Milos Degenek and Red Star Belgrade has won 12 out of 13 games in the Serbian SuperLiga this season yet they still only lead the way by four points.

An encounter against Proleter Novi Sad could be a chance for Crvenz Zvedza to open up a bigger lead at the top, that kicks off at 2am AEDT on Sunday. 

Aziz Behich’s İstanbul Başakşehir look to improve on their sixth-place position in the Turkish Süper Lig when they face Alanyaspor at 1.30am AEDT on Sunday.

Apostolos Giannou is set to be in action for AEK Larnaca away against Apoel Nicosia, who have a 100% record in the Cypriot First Division, at 3am AEDT on Sunday.

Midtjylland and Mobil lead the way

On 1am AEDT on Monday morning, Awer Mabil’s Midtjylland square off against AaB Aalborg seeking to extend their four-point advantage in the Danish Superliga.

A couple of hours earlier, at 11pm AEDT on Sunday, Mustafa Amini and AGF head to midtabler rivals Nordsjaelland. 

Half an hour later, Ajdin Hrustic will take the field for FC Groningen against Willem II in the Dutch Eredivisie.

James Jeggo turns out for Austria Wien at 2am AEDT on Monday on the road against high-flying LASK Linz while, on Tuesday at 4.15am AEDT, Trent Sainsbury’s Maccabi Haifa go to Hapoel Tel Aviv.

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