Where do our Socceroos stand in the late-season push?

Where do our Socceroos stand in the late-season push?

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There is no shortage of Socceroos set for exciting yet nervy endings to their respective campaigns with plenty on the line in the coming weeks. 

PROMOTION CANDIDATES

Aaron Mooy – Huddersfield Town

Having been tipped for relegation at the beginning of the season, the Terriers have impressed throughout the season and sit in fourth position, seven points behind Newcastle United with three games to play. With that in mind, it appears likely their place in England’s top flight will be determined via the play-off system.

Mitch Langerak – VfB Stuttgart

Langerak is the most likely Socceroo set to earn promotion come the end of the season as he and Stuttgart sit at the top of the 2.Bundesliga table. The 28-year-old’s side holds a slender lead of just one point, with five games remaining in the season. There is a gap of only three points between first and fourth on the table.

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James Meredith – Bradford City

Bradford look set for a play-off battle come May as they hold a six-point advantage over Southend United in seventh place, with two games remaining. Their hopes of automatic promotion remain alive but slender, with Bolton Wanderers sitting in second place and ahead by five points.

EUROPEAN DREAMING

Tomi Juric – FC Luzern

In Switzerland, Juric and Luzern sit in fourth place and look set for a birth in the Europa League qualifying rounds, as they hold a six-point advantage over Lugano in fifth place. A spot in the Champions League qualifiers could come about if they can close their 10-point gap to Young Boys.

Trent Sainsbury – Inter Milan

While he may only be on loan, what the future holds for Sainsbury remains up in the air. He and Italian giants Inter are within arm’s reach of a place in the Europa League qualifying rounds, sitting two points behind cross-town rivals AC Milan. A fifth-placed finish would earn an automatic spot in the group stage. Atalanta hold a four-point gap in that department.

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RELEGATION-THREATENED

Mat Leckie – FC Ingolstadt

The next few weeks are sure to be stressful for Leckie and Ingolstadt as they sit just four points from safety with five games remaining. Tough tests against RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen await the German side and all Australian fans will be hopeful there is two Aussies in the Bundesliga next season.

Jackson Irvine – Burton Albion

Earlier in the week, Irvine and Burton picked up a vital 2-0 victory over fellow relegation candidates Birmingham City. Now sitting four points clear of the drop zone with three games to play, it would appear Burton’s status in the Championship for next season is safe.

Bailey Wright – Bristol City

While his former club Preston North End sit comfortably in mid-table, Wright finds himself in a relegation battle. He and Bristol sit just one place above Irvine and Burton, also four points above the relegation zone.

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Chris Herd – Gillingham

Having recently made a full recovery from injury, Herd returns to the Gillingham side at a vital stage of the season. The Gills sit four points above the relegation zone with just two games to play and are set to face promotion candidates Fleetwood Town and mid-table side Northampton Town to close the campaign.

Scott McDonald – Motherwell

With the first phase of the Scottish Premiership now completed, McDonald and Motherwell will now face off against other clubs who finished in the bottom six of the competition. If they are to finish second last among these teams they will feature in a two-legged affair against the winners of a Scottish Championship play-off to decide the makeup of the top flight next season.

Kenny Dougall/Craig Goodwin – Sparta Rotterdam

Dougall and Goodwin are facing a nervous end to the season, sitting two points from safety with three matches remaining. If Sparta are to remain in 16th position behind Roda JC, they will be forced into a relegation play-off against a second division side to determine their place in the Dutch Eredivise.

Mustafa Amini/Chris Ikonomidis – AGF

Midfield duo Amini and Iknonomidis have just begun the first part of their relegation series in Denmark, sitting bottom of a four-team group after three games played. The bottom two teams from each group will progress to a relegation play-off.

Awer Mabil – Esbjerg

Former Adelaide United winger Mabil is also facing the prospect of relegation in the Scandinavian nation. It appears Esbjerg will be all but forced into a relegation play-off as they sit eight points behind second-placed AC Horsens.

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