Australian football fans should be glued in to their television sets on on September 1 when one of the most prolific strikers in Europe, Socceroo Nikita Rukvaystya, takes on Premier League guns Tottenham Hotspur.
Rukavytsya has been on fire for months now. FTBL reported just over a week ago that the fringe Socceroo had scored 15 goals in his last 1,013 minutes, and since then he's added two strikes in two games.
All up, the 33-year-old striker has seven goals and three assists in five appearances this season and has scored at least once in every match, regardless of minutes played.
He scored and assisted again in Maccabi Haifa's 2-1 win against Russian club FC Rostov in the Europa League overnight, sending the Israeli club through to a Europa League playoff against European giants Tottenham Hotspur.
FOOTBALL WORLD - NIKITA RUKAVYTSYA— DMT Sports Media 🇦🇺 (@au_dthompson) September 16, 2020
The 33 year old cannot stop scoring with 4 goals already in the new season. 18 caps for Australian Socceroos now 126 games plus for MACCABI #FootballWorld #SportsAustralia @MaccabiHaifaSCI pic.twitter.com/6XAJRfHBZT
It means Rukavytsya has scored and assisted in all three Europa League matches this season, a tantalising track record that will put him in the front of Jose Mourinho's mind when the two sides face off for a spot in the continental championships.
Rukavytsya's form has already began to draw notice from both the Socceroos camp and the wider world, with the striker nominated for the AFC's Asian Player of the Week yesterday.
Maccabi have other experienced players but the reigning Israeli golden boot winner will be key to Haifa's chances.
Nikita Rukavytsya has to be the most underrated Australian player abroad at the moment. Another goal and assist to knock Rostov out of the Europa League last night (that's 8 goals in 6 games).— Tom Engelhardt (@PrimeIsHere) September 24, 2020
Next up; Tottenham away for a place in the group stage. https://t.co/wcp7k14FJR
His title-winning experience in the Netherlands and years of Bundesliga and European matches set to hold him in good stead against world-class opposition.
Now he'll be seeking to prove that he's become even better with age. With his form, in a one-off, do-or-die European match, anything can happen.