The return of competitive action in the English Championship and Scottish Premiership highlights another packed weekend of action for our overseas Caltex Socceroos.
Here’s what’s in store as the clock ticks ever closer to the big kick off.
ALL KICK OFF TIMES AEST
Four out of the seven Australian players currently involved in England’s second division featured in the Caltex Socceroos’ 2018 FIFA World Cup™ campaign.
But the transition back into club football will be well and truly done when players take to the field for the highly anticipated commencement of the new Championship season.
The wait is set to go on a little longer for Hull City’s Jackson Irvine, with illness and lack of action causing manager Nigel Adkins to cast doubts over his participation this weekend.
Irvine’s Tigers are set to kick off their season against Mile Jedinak’s Aston Villa on Tuesday morning at the KC Stadium, with kick off at 4.45AM. The Caltex Socceroos’ captain returned to first team action in the club’s friendly against Dynamo Dresden last weekend and should be handed the armband against City.
James Meredith will be back for Millwall as the Lions host Middlesbrough at The Den, while Massimo Luongo’s Queens Park Rangers travel to Preston. Both matches kick off at 12:00AM Sunday morning.
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Elsewhere, Adam Federici is in line to make his Stoke City debut against Leeds United on Monday morning 1.30AM. Bailey Wright’s Bristol City host Nottingham Forest on Sunday 12.00AM.
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Staying in England, Aaron Mooy will be searching for more competitive minutes when Huddersfield Town take on RB Leipzig in their final pre-season friendly at 1.00AM. Mooy scored a penalty for David Wagner’s side in their 2-1 friendly win over Bologna on Wednesday morning.
Matthew Ryan’s Brighton and Hove Albion also conclude their pre-season preparations with a match against French side Nantes on Saturday morning, with kick off 4.45AM.
Over in Scotland, Tom Rogic’s Celtic begin their title defence against Livingston on Sunday morning 12.00AM. The midfielder has only been back in pre-season training for three weeks and was given half an hour’s action in the side’s 0-0 draw with Rosenburg on Thursday.
Heart of Midlothian also get their campaign underway with a trip to Hamilton on Sunday morning, 12.00AM. Ben Garuccio has made an inspired start to life at The Jambos following a superb debut goal last weekend, while Oliver Bozanic and Ryan Edwards will also be looking to get amongst the action.
Andy Rose’s Motherwell take on Hibernian on Monday morning 12.00AM, Jesse Curran is in action with Dundee who take on St. Mirren on Sunday morning 12.00AM.
JUPILER PRO LEAGUE
After warming the bench for Genk’s 4-1 win over Fola Esch on Thursday morning, Danny Vukovic should return between the sticks for the Belgian giants’ fixture against Sint-Truiden on Monday morning 2.00AM (AEST).
Genk stalwart Philippe Clement appears to be blooding young goalkeeper Nordin Jackers in the club’s Europa League run, with Vukovic retaining the number one jersey for the league.
SWISS SUPER LEAGUE
Tomi Juric will hope to make his return from injury when FC Luzern take on Lugano in their Swiss Super League clash on Sunday, 3.00AM.
Jamie Maclaren’s season kicks off on Sunday evening, when SV Darmstadt 98 host Paderborn at home in their 2. Bundesliga clash on Sunday evening, kick off 11.30PM (AEST).
SERBIAN SUPER LIGA
After securing their place in the third qualifying round of the Champions League, Milos Degenek’s Red Star Belgrade return to domestic action on the weekend when they travel to Voždovac on Sunday morning at 3.00AM.
Degenek has been in excellent for Red Star of late, playing a key role in a run of five consecutive shutouts. They currently sit top of the ladder with two wins.
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