Aussies Abroad Preview: Souttar and McGree to put friendship aside in Championship meeting

Over the last few months with the Socceroos and Olyroos, Harry Souttar and Riley McGree struck up a friendship that Jackson Irvine labelled 'inseparable'. 

But this weekend, their loyalties will be split as both eye off a first Championship appearance of the season when their club outfits go head-to-head. 

In what is set to be another bumper weekend of Aussies Abroad action, two Socceroos will also face off in Denmark while Ajdin Hrustic kicks off the Bundesliga season with a huge match-up. 

Read all about what there is to look forward to now! 

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Starting in England's second tier, Riley McGree's Birmingham City are set to host Harry Souttar's Stoke City, with both teams entering the game fresh off back-to-back wins to begin the campaign. 

With both players enjoying busy off-seasons representing the Socceroos in Kuwait and Olyroos at Tokyo 2020, the duo eased their way back into club football with some valuable minutes midweek.

Souttar was handed the captain's armband and headed home the winner against his former club Fleetwood Town, while McGree was introduced off the bench as Birmingham overcame Colchester. 

After earning three points apiece on the opening day last weekend, both outfits will be determined to continue their form into this Aussie-flavoured round two clash. 

While they may have finished higher on the table last season, recent history suggests it won't be easy for Souttar and Stoke - who have not defeated Birmingham on their own patch since 1988. 

Remaining in the Championship, Kenny Dougall will also be keen for his first taste of league action as his newly-promoted Blackpool FC host Cardiff City on Saturday.

Like Souttar, Dougall earned his first start of the season during the week as the Seasiders overcame Middlesbrough 3-0 in the EFL Cup.

WATCH: Souttar on target for Stoke

Heading to Denmark, Awer Mabil will be looking to score past his international teammate Lawrence Thomas on Friday night. 

After crashing out of UEFA Champions League qualifying midweek, Mabil's FC Midtylland take on Thomas' SønderjyskE in league action. 

Midtjylland currently sit second, while SønderjyskE are seventh with four rounds played.

Both Aussies have played significant roles in their club's campaigns so far, and will be hoping to prove the difference when they meet this weekend. 

Moving down to Germany, Ajdin Hrustic has recovered from contracting COVID-19 and is raring to go ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt's season opener against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

The two Bundesliga clubs engaged in a tight tussle for the European places last season, so will be eager to get off on the front foot this time around. 

Hrustic will be hoping to enjoy his most productive season in Germany so far, after building up some red-hot form towards the back-end of the 2020-21 camapaign, before delivering a collection of eye-catching performances during the Socceroos' June FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

In the German second tier, Jackson Irvine's FC St Pauli are heading into a huge Hamburg Derby clash against heated rivals Hamburger SV on Friday night,  before Brandon Borrello's Dynamo Dresden host Hannover 96 on Sunday. 

Meanwhile in Scotland, Martin Boyle is looking to continue his five-game goalscoring streak as Hibernian welcome Kilmarnock to Easter Road in Scottish League Cup action on Sunday night. 

Tom Rogic and Celtic take part in the same competition a day later, as they look to exact some kind of revenge against Hearts - who defeated them in the league just a couple of weeks ago.

Rogic is quietly building up some solid form, enjoying back-to-back starts as Celtic secured advancement in the Europa League with a 7-2 aggregate win over Jablonec.

Ange Postecoglou's outfit will now face AZ Alkmaar of the Netherlands for a berth in the competition's group stages. 

WATCH: Mabil, Boyle, Rogic on the scoresheet in Europe

In Italy, recent Socceroos debutant Fran Karacic is set for his first taste of competitive football this season on Tuesday.

Karacic's Brescia Calcio will make the long trip south to face Crotone in the first round of the Coppa Italia. 

With three rounds played in Belgium, Trent Sainsbury's FC Kortrijk are set for a top-of-the-table clash against Union Saint-Gilloise. 

Sainsbury's side sit in second, after suffering their first loss of the season to KRC Genk last time out, and will look to regain their status as the competition's early frontrunners by bouncing back against the league leaders this weekend. 

In the nearby Netherlands, Danny Vukovic could face a baptism of fire on debut for NEC Nijmegen. 

Vukovic's side will start up the Eredivise season with one of the league's toughest away trips, facing Ajax at the Amsterdam ArenA on Saturday.

Vukovic
After a highly successful few years in Belgium, 36-year-old Danny Vukovic is approaching a new challenge in the Netherlands this season

Moving our attention to Asia, Adam Taggart started for Cerezo Osaka in a 0-0 draw with Vegalta Sendai on Monday. 

His side currently sit 12th in the J.League, and will be keen to start climbing up the ladder when they travel to face Avispa Fukuoka on Sunday. 

Fellow Socceroos striker Mitch Duke enjoyed a start on debut for his new club Fagiano Okayama on Monday, featuring in a 1-0 win at home to Renofa Yamaguchi.

Duke will be back in action on Saturday evening, away to Machida Zelvia.

In transfer news, former Joeys captain and Australian U23 select player Ryan Teague has joined Portuguese second-tier side SC Covilhã on loan from Famalicão.