Marcel Hirscher will be among leading skiers to compete at the Soelden leg of the FIS World Cup ©Getty Images

International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine World Cup action is set to begin tomorrow with two days of giant slalom action in the Austrian resort of Soelden.

It comes ahead of a highly-anticipated winter season as the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang draws closer, although the season opener will be overshadowed by the absence of several leading competitors. 

They United States' Lindsey Vonn and Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal, who will each sit-out the Austrian event in order to regain full fitness following injuries last season.

Hope hope Anna Veith will be another absentee from tomorrow's women's giant slalom event.

In their absence, Italian star Federica Brignone will be seeking a successful defence of the race she won last year on the Rettenbach glacier.

America's Mikaela Shiffrin will be among the leading contenders.

Shiffrin's team-mate Ted Ligety will be hoping to do likewise in the corresponding men's race on Sunday (November 23).

Austria's reigning giant slalom World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher will be among other favourites on home snow.

"The slope preparation is perfect," said FIS race director Markus Mayr.

"It's better than it has been in the past 10 years."

Celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup will also begin in the Austrian resort.

Heinrich Messner, the Austrian winner of the first FIS World Cup race in Berechtesgaden, will be on hand to watch the races in Soelden.