Aussies Abroad Preview: Vukovic eyes league return, Langerak and Deng do battle in Japan

Socceroos and KRC Genk goalkeeper Danny Vukovic could return to the pitch for his first league match in over a year when the Belgian Pro League season begins on Sunday morning AEST while Mitch Langerak and Thomas Deng will go head to head in the J League on Saturday night.

Danny Vukovic will get his first taste of competitive football in over a year after a debilitating achilles injury coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic put his career on hold.

The 35-year-old’s first match back will be away to Zulte Waregem with the match scheduled for a 12am kick off on Monday morning.

The Socceroos shot stopper will be hoping for another stellar season with Genk and a possible repeat of their outstanding 2018/19 campaign which saw them crowned league champions.

In the J League, Mitch Langerak’s Nagoya Grampus host Thomas Deng and his Urawa Red Diamonds at 7pm on Saturday night.

Both sides have had a positive start to their respective campaign; they both have 14 points to their name however Nagoya have a game in hand over Urawa.

The home side also sit two places above their opponents in 5th thanks to their superior goal difference.

The Red Diamonds are undefeated in their last two league matches while Grampus enter this fixture on the back of their first defeat of the season.

In the Scottish Premiership, Martin Boyle will be hoping to add to his two-goal haul from last weekend as his Hibernian take on Livingston on Sunday at 12am.

The Hibs attacker was named in the SPFL’s team of the week after he notched a brace against Kilmarnock in the opening round.

Tom Rogic’s Celtic will be looking to record back-to-back wins when they face off against Kilmarnock at 1:30am on Monday.

The Socceroos midfielder will be looking to make it out onto the pitch for the first time this season after being an unused substitute in their 5-1 rout of Hamilton Academical last time out.

Milos Degenek played a full game in the heart of defence for FK Crvena Zvezda as they ran out 3-0 winners against Radnicki Nis in the Serbian SuperLiga on Thursday morning.

Degenek’s side have two wins from their first two fixtures and will be in action again on Monday when they come up against Macva Sabac at 4am.

Over to the K League and Brandon O’Neill will feature for Pohang Steelers on Saturday when they meet Gwangju FC at 8pm.

The Steelers lost their last league encounter second-placed Jeonbuk FC however prior to that they were on a six match unbeaten streak in the competition.

Gwangju sit three places behind Pohang in 8th on the league table with a 10-point gap separating the two sides.

It was O’Neill’s side who came out on top the last time these two sides met in late June, winning 2-0 on that occasion.

Terry Antonis and Adam Taggart will also be in action on Saturday night as their Suwon Bluewings travel to Ulsan Hyundai for an 8pm kick off.

Suwon enter this fixture on the back of two defeats and sit in 10th position and while Ulsan are top the table and have a perfect league record which dates back to the end of June.

It was the table-toppers who claimed the win the last time these two sides met, with 3-2 the final score back in mid-May.

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