Aussies Abroad Preview: Mooy, Ryan eye struggling PL heavyweight as Championship also returns

Socceroos and Brighton & Hove Albion duo Aaron Mooy and Maty Ryan will resume their English Premier League campaign this weekend when they host Arsenal on Saturday.

Their long awaited return to the pitch has finally arrived as they prepare to face off against Arsenal at the AMEX Stadium on Sunday at 12am.

The Premier League has been on hiatus for over three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has meant that the Aussie pair haven’t tasted Premier League football since they drew 0-0 against Wolves on March 8.

Brighton sit in fifteenth position on the ladder ahead of the league’s resumption with only two points separating them from the relegation zone.

However, Arsenal are ninth on the table and are coming off a 3-0 defeat against Manchester City in their return match mid-week, which saw several of their key players succumb to injury.

The last time Mooy faced Arsenal, he had the most passes, dribbles, tackles and provided the winning assist in Brighton's 2-1 win.

The English Championship will also return this weekend, so this will be our chance to see another three Aussies in action.

Massimo Luongo will be aiming to feature for Sheffield Wednesday when they meet Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough at 12am on Sunday.

Saturday’s encounter against Forest will prove to be quite the challenge for his side as their opponents sit in 5th spot on the league table while Sheffield occupy 15th.

Aussie shot stopper Adam Federici and his Stoke City make the trip to Reading on Sunday at 12am.


Stoke have endured a tough campaign in English’s second tier and sit in 17th position ahead of the league’s resumption.

The Aussie goalkeeper’s last appearance for the club arrived on October 27 against Millwall.

Aussie left back Brad Smith's Cardiff City face a difficult proposition in their first match back with table-toppers Leeds United visiting the Cardiff City Stadium at 9pm on Sunday.

In Turkish SuperLig action, Aziz Behich’s Istanbul Basaksehir will go head to head against Ankaragucu on Saturday morning at 4.

Their opponents have not had the best of seasons and occupy one of the three relegation places.

Behich will be hoping to make it one step further this weekend and make it out onto the pitch after being an unused substitute last time out.

Heading to Korea and there will be five Aussies set to take to the pitch across the K League.

The first of those will be Jason Davidson whose Ulsan Hyundai make the trip to the capital to take on FC Seoul at 8pm on Saturday.

Seoul have endured one of the worst starts to a season in their history and enter this clash on the back of a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Daegu.

Brandon O’Neill and his Pohang Steelers will be in action at 8pm on Saturday when they take on Gangwon FC.

O'Neill's crazy Korean adventure so far

Pohang have struggled to find consistency this season, they’re yet to record back-to-back wins.

However, O’Neill seems to have finally broke into the starting line-up and could feature for another full 90 minutes come Saturday.

There will be a battle at the bottom of the K League on Sunday as Rashid Mahazi’s Incheon United host Busan I’Park at 7pm.

Neither side is yet to record a victory from their first seven matches this season and have therefore become the likely candidates to face the drop at the end of the campaign.

Mahazi finally returned to the pitch for Incheon in their midweek encounter against Gwangju on Wednesday.

He joined the action on the hour mark but couldn’t stop his side from suffering another defeat as they lost 2-1.

A thrilling battle is set to take place at 9pm on Sunday as Terry Antonis and Adam Taggart’s Suwon Bluewings face off against Daegu FC.

Daegu dished out a 6-0 thumping of Seoul last round and their confidence will be sky high heading into this fixture.


The Bluewings will also be confident of claiming all three points after they secured their first win in three attempts on Tuesday while more importantly Taggart finally has the monkey off his back after he opened his K League account.

In the Israeli Premier League, Nikita Rukavystya and Trent Sainsbury will be turning out for Maccabi Haifa when they visit Hapoel Beer Sheva at 3:30am on Sunday.

Haifa are yet to win since the league resumed almost a month ago.

However, on a more positive note, Rukavytsya got off the mark for the first time since the season restarted with his strike just under a fortnight ago.

Heading to Denmark and there will be two Aussies involved in the Danish Superligaen this weekend.

Awer Mabil’s Midtjylland will play host to Brondby on Friday morning at 4am.

Mabil’s side are back to their winning ways, they’ve recorded two wins on the bounce and will be odds on favourites to add to that tally on Thursday.

Mustafa Amini came on for the final quarter for AGF Aarhus as they secured a 2-1 win at home to Nordsjaelland on Thursday morning.

His next match will see him square off against Mabil with that fixture set to take place at 4am on Monday.

James Jeggo and James Holland geared up for their respective clubs in midweek fixtures across the Austrian Bundesliga.

Jeggo played the full match for Austria Wien as they overcame WSG Swarovski Tirol 1-0 on Wednesday morning.

Wien will meet WSG again on Sunday morning when they travel to Tirol with kick off scheduled for 1am.

Holland put in a full shift for LASK Linz as they put four unanswered goals past Sturm Graz on Thursday morning.

Linz’s next match sees them take on Graz again with kick off scheduled for 3:30am on Monday morning.

Heading to Germany and there are set to be two Aussies in action across the Bundesliga with Brandon Borrello and Mathew Leckie hoping to feature for SC Freiburg and Hertha Berlin respectively.

Brandon Borrello
Brandon Borrello (R)

Their two sides met on Wednesday morning with Freiburg coming out on top with a 2-1 victory, however neither player was involved in the fixture.

Freiburg face an almighty task in their next clash as they travel to Bavaria to take on newly crowned champions Bayern Munich with proceedings set to get underway from 11:30pm on Saturday.

Hertha’s next match sees them welcome Bayer Leverkusen to the Olympiastadion on Saturday at 11:30pm.

Tomi Juric will be gearing up for CSKA Sofia in the Bulgarian Premier League on Saturday when they battle it out against cross-town rivals Levski Sofia at 11:15pm.

Juric has appeared off the bench in both of his side’s league encounters since the competition restarted and will be hoping to play a role in the upcoming derby.

CSKA sit one place above Levski in 2nd while only one point separates the two outfits ahead of their meeting.

Heading to the Serbian SuperLiga and Milos Degenek’s season will come to an end this weekend as his FK crvena zvezda host Proleter in the league’s final round.

This upcoming match, like the last two rounds have acted as a formality for Degenek’s side after they claimed the championship with a victory in their first match back after the enforced break.

*All times displayed are in AEST