Aussies Abroad Preview: Socceroos face off as FA Cup returns

Fresh from securing their first-ever Premier League point against Chelsea on New Year's Day, attention turns to the FA Cup for Brighton and Hove Albion stars Aaron Mooy and Mat Ryan.

Brighton welcome Massimo Luongo's Sheffield Wednesday to the AMEX on Sunday morning, with kick off at 2.01am AEDT.

It is the first time the two sides have faced off in the FA Cup since the semi-final in 1982/83, which the Seagulls won 2-1 before going down to Manchester United in their first and only FA Cup Final to date.

Other Socceroos preparing for the third round of world football's oldest national competition are Jackson Irvine, Adam Federici, Bailey Wright, Kenneth Dougall and Harry Souttar.

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Irvine - who netted a last-minute winner on his 100th appearance for Hull City on Monday - faces League One outfit Rotherham United, while Adam Federici could be in line to deputise for England international Jack Butland when Stoke City face Brentford. Both those matches commence at 2.01am on Sunday.

Wright's Bristol City entertain League One Shrewsbury at 11.31pm on Saturday, Dougall and Barnsley travel to League Two high-flyers Crewe Alexandra on Monday at 1.01am. 

Harry Souttar's Fleetwood Town host Portsmouth on Sunday at 4.31am looking to reach the FA Cup fourth found for the first time. 

*FA Cup third round ties are kicking off a minute late as part of a campaign to promote mental health

Aaron Mooy is surrounded by Chelsea players as the Caltex Socceroo drives Brighton on at the AMEX Stadium.
Aaron Mooy's Brighton entertain Massimo Luongo's Sheffield Wednesday this weekend

Top of the table clash for Sainsbury

Trent Sainsbury and Maccabi Haifa are gearing up for a decisive clash in the Israeli Premier League title race when they host Maccabi Tel-Aviv at 5.15am on Tuesday morning.

Sainsbury's side trail the pacesetters by three points after 16 fixtures played.

The former Central Coast Mariner has featured in 12 matches for the Israeli giants. 

And on the home front...

Jamie Maclarne's Melbourne City are out to re-ignite their Hyundai A-League title ambitions against Western United on Friday evening, kick off 7.30pm.

Maclaren's City fell 2-1 to leaders Sydney FC last time out, a match that opened up a nine-point deficit between they and the Sky Blues. 

Andrew Redmayne's reigning Champions are due to host Adelaide United on Saturday at 7.30pm, although Rhyan Grant will miss out through suspension. 

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