England’s FA have released next season’s draw for the top four tiers of English football, throwing up some intriguing clashes on the opening weekend for Socceroos plying their trade in the Premier League and Championship.
Here’s a rundown of what’s in store for our Aussies abroad on match-day one of the 2015/16 season.
Mile Jedinak has assured Crystal Palace fans he’ll be at the club next season and is set to lead the Eagles out against newly promoted Norwich City at Carrow Road.
The Socceroos and Palace skipper had been linked with a move to join former manager Tony Pulis at West Brom but the speculation has been dismissed by the midfielder.
Mark Schwarzer will be pushing for a starting berth when Leicester City host fellow relegation survivors Sunderland. Schwarzer’s move from league leaders Chelsea to the then rock-bottom Foxes in January raised a few eye-brows but proved the 42-year-old is not content to warm the bench.
Schwarzer may have only played a handful of games but once again showed he has the Midas touch as Leicester staged a monumental form reversal to secure their league survival.
Chris Herd and Adam Federici will see their clubs go head-to-head when Aston Villa travel to face Championship title-holders AFC Bournemouth. Federici became one of the Cherries’ first acquisitions after the club secured their maiden top-flight status.
Brad Smith will be hoping to force his way into Liverpool’s first team this term and the Reds will have the chance to atone for their 6-1 drubbing in Steven Gerrard’s last game for the club when they head back to the Britannia Stadium to face Stoke.
The versatile Aussie defender spent some time on loan at Swindon Town last season and may see some game time when Liverpool tour Australia to play Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United as part of their pre-season.
Curtis Good has spent the best part of the last three seasons on loan from Newcastle United but could come into the reckoning at the selection table after the Magpies endured a horrid finish to the season.
First the 22-year-old will need to overcome his latest setback having had hip surgery after breaking down in his return from a long lay-off. The Toon Army kick-off their season at home to Southampton in what will be new manager Steve McClaren’s first game in charge of the Geordies.
Massismo Luongo signed with Queens Park Rangers in the off-season, who are managed from his former Tottenham mentor Chris Ramsey. The Hoops will be looking to bounce straight back from relegation to the Championship and get their season underway on the road to Charlton Athletic.
Adam Taggart is another player seeking to regain full fitness in order to press his first-team credentials after a run of injuries ruined his first season with Fulham. The former Jets striker has struggled for game time since he appeared at the World Cup and has been back in Australia undertaking rehab. The London club travel to Wales on the opening weekend to face Cardiff City.
Bailey Wright and Rhys Williams will have the chance to go head-to-head when newly promoted Preston North End welcome Middlesbrough for their opening day clash. Wright’s selection in central defence would seem a formality as he played a pivotal role in the Lancashire club’s elevation. Williams' participation would seem less certain as he seeks to return from a serious ankle injury picked up in the FA Cup.
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While Bert van Marwijk’s debut game as Caltex Socceroos coach didn’t go to plan, the side gets a chance to put things right when they take on Colombia in London on Wednesday morning (Australian time). The South Americans are a dangerous side, having beaten Australia’s Group C
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