Aussies Abroad Preview: Behich returns to action in Turkey
Aziz Behich could be back in action for Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey while a blockbuster Saturday in the K League will see all five Korea-based Aussies take to the pitch.
The Turkish Superlig returns this weekend so this could be our first chance to get a glimpse of Aziz Behich as his Istanbul Basaksehir host Alanyaspor at 1:30* on Sunday morning.
The Turkish top flight has been suspended since mid-March with Behich’s side sitting in second spot on the table on 53 points with only goal difference separating them from league leaders Trabzonspor.
The Socceroos defender has featured four times for Basaksehir, with his last appearance arriving in the Turkish Cup at the back end of January.
The extended break has given the 29-year-old plenty of time to fine tune his skills as he eyes a place in the starting line-up come Saturday.
Keep your eye out for the K League this Saturday with all five Aussies set to feature across the four fixtures.
First up, we will see Jason Davidson in action for Ulsan Hyundai as they host Seongnam FC at 5:30pm.
Ulsan recorded a resounding 4-0 victory against Pohang in the east coast derby last time out and sit in 2nd on the ladder, two places and three points better off than their upcoming opponents.
Seongnam just suffered their first defeat of the season last Sunday against Daegu and could risk suffering back-to-back defeats in Ulsan this weekend.
Rashid Mahazi’s Incheon United face a difficult trip to league leaders Jeonbuk United with proceedings set to get underway from 8pm.
Incheon prop up the table and are one of only two sides still in search of their first win this campaign.
Mahazi hasn’t featured for his side since their opening day 0-0 stalemate against Daegu. Since then, they have suffered one draw and three consecutive defeats.
Socceroos midfielder Brandon O’Neill will be featuring for Pohang Steelers when they face off against Sangju Sangmu at 8pm.
O’Neill was an unused substitute in his side’s 4-0 defeat at the hands of Ulsan last Sunday.
Saturday’s fixture seems finely poised with Sangju placed one spot above the Steelers in 5th position.
There will be two Aussies on show in Suwon at 8pm as Terry Antonis and Adam Taggart’s Bluewings go head to head against Gangwon FC.
Suwon have endured a tough start to the season, they occupy 9th position and have struggled in the goals department with only three goals from their first five encounters.
Taggart has struggled to build upon last season’s incredible 20 goal haul which saw him claim the K League’s golden boot.
The Aussie striker is yet to get off the mark this campaign as his side continue to slip down the league ladder.
Two Aussies are set to be involved in the Danish Superligaen this weekend as they commence the championship series.
Awer Mabil will be first to take to the pitch when his Midtjylland travel to Aalborg BK at 10pm on Sunday.
Mabil’s side finished first in the regular season while Aalborg finished 6th and secured the final berth in the upcoming playoffs.
Midtjylland came out 3-0 winners when these two sides met in a friendly three weeks ago.
Alex Gersbach and Mustafa Amini’s AGF Aarhus will face off against Brondby on Monday at 4am.
Amini is likely to be named in the starting line-up however Gersbach is not in contention as he continues to recover from a slight knock.
It will be a case of 3rd versus 4th as AGF finished the regular season in 3rd, five points better off than their opponents.
Trent Sainsbury and Nikita Rukavytsya will feature for Maccabi Haifa as they host Beitar Jerusalem at 4am on Sunday.
Rukavytsya will look to add to his 20-goal tally as he prepares to face off against his former outfit.
The Socceroos winger spent the 2015/16 season at Beitar where he managed 14 goals in his 30 appearances.
This match has all the makings to be a spectacle given that Jerusalem sit in third spot on the Israeli Premier League ladder while Haifa occupy second position.
Bundesliga action on Saturday night will see Mathew Leckie’s Hertha Berlin return to the Olympiastadion as they welcome Eintracht Frankfurt at 11:30pm.
A minor muscle strain ruled out Leckie last weekend as his side suffered a narrow defeat away to Dortmund.
The Socceroos winger has struggled for game time this season and there is no guarantee that he will be named in this weekend’s matchday squad.
Brandon Borrello’s SC Freiburg travel to fellow European challengers Wolfsburg on Saturday with kick off set for 11:30pm.
Freiburg secured a 1-0 victory against high-flying Monchengladbach last time out while Wolfsburg heaped more misery on relegation threatened Werder Bremen when they beat them by the same score line in their latest match.
Midweek fixtures in the Austrian Bundesliga saw Aussie pair James Jeggo and James Holland in action for their respective clubs.
Jeggo came off the bench for the final quarter as his Austria Wien fell to a 2-0 defeat against Altach on Wednesday morning.
The victory meant that Altach leapfrogged Wien into first in the relegation ladder.
Wien meet Mattersburg in their next fixture which is set to take place at 1am on Sunday morning.
Holland put in a full shift for LASK Linz as they went down 1-0 at home to Rapid Wien.
LASK have struggled to kickstart their campaign since the league resumed, they’re yet to win with two draws and two defeats in their last four matches.
Their next league encounter sees them lock horns with Red Bull Salzburg on Monday at 3:30am.
Milos Degenek and his FK Crvena Zvezda will entertain TSC Backa Topola in the Serbian SuperLiga at 12:30 on Monday morning.
This fixture should make for interesting viewing as these are the league’s two forms sides with both clubs entering this clash on the back of six consecutive victories.
Tomi Juric’s CSKA Sofia go head to head against Lokomotiv Plovdiv at 4am on Monday in what will be the final matchday of the regular season in the Bulgarian Premier League.
Both sides have 49 points to their name, however Lokomotiv sit above CSKA in second place on the table thanks to their superior goal difference.
A win for Sofia will see Juric’s side snatch 2nd spot from Plovdiv ahead of the championship playoffs.
*All times displayed are in AEST