WHICH Australians are closing in on titles and promotion or facing relegation?
Find out in a special edition of Roo Radar!
ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP AUSSIE LADDER
5. Huddersfield – 78 points (Aaron Mooy)
12. Aston Villa – 61 points (Mile Jedinak)
17. Bristol City – 51 points (Bailey Wright)
18. Burton Albion – 51 points (Jackson Irvine)
19. QPR – 50 points (Massimo Luongo)
EYEING PROMOTION VIA PLAYOFFS
Aaron Mooy’s Huddersfield look set to have their Premier League future decided at Wembley as Fulham continued their surge to the Championship play-offs as they won 4-1.
Mooy, who was this week named in the PFA’s team of the season, played 90 minutes as Huddersfield moved down fifth spot, level on points with Sheffield Wednesday.
Sixth-placed Fulham have won their last four games, scoring 13 goals in the process, and are now three points ahead of seventh-placed Leeds and only three behind third-placed Reading, with a far superior goal difference to any of the other teams in the play-off picture.
STAYING IN CHAMPIONSHIP
On the big stage, Mile Jedinak put in a vintage 90 minutes.
The Socceroos captain led from the heart of Aston Villa’s midfield in their 1-0 derby victory over Harry Redknapp’s Birmingham in the Championship.
Gabriel Agbonlahor came off the bench to score the winning goal in the 67th minute in a heated affair that was tightly contested from the outset.
Jedinak was at the centre of the action from the outset, making a “robust” tackle on Maikel Kieftenbeld that “brought the crowd to their feet”, wrote The Mirror’s Sean Taylor.
Minutes later Jedinak had his shirt ripped off his back, but was consistently strong in the air to help keep the pressure off his defence throughout the match.
The victory saw Villa move to 61 points to be 12th on the ladder, but manager Steve Bruce labelled the win as his team’s “worst game of the season”.
“It was the worst game of the season,” he told BBC Sport.
“The ball must have been screaming at one point, saying ‘please don’t bash me again’.
“We’re still not remotely near the finished article. I’ve got a busy summer ahead, with a huge clear-out job to continue.
“But at least the fans have not only won a derby, they’ve seen the effort their team has put in. We’ve taken away the stigma that they don’t care.”
FIGHTING TO AVOID RELEGATION
Jackson Irvine’s Burton Albion and Bailey Wright’s Bristol City took big steps towards Championship safety with vital victories.
Irvine’s side saw off Leeds 2-1 to move into 18th spot on 51 points, and are now just behind Wright’s Bristol on goal difference after their 3-2 comeback win over Barnsley, where Ryan Williams was on the bench.
Bristol had been trailing 2-1 after the first 60 minutes, but scored twice in five minutes to go six points clear of the drop zone.
However, Brentford inflicted a sixth successive defeat on Massimo Luongo’s QPR with a 3-1 win at Griffin Park.
Luongo hit the bar in added time just before the break, but the defeat leaves his side one point below Burton and Bristol.
The bottom three teams in the Championship (places 22-24) are relegated to League One.
SCOTLAND: ROGIC AIMING FOR SILVERWARE IN EUROPE
Tom Rogic will get the chance to play in the Scottish Cup final next month after Celtic saw off Old Firm rivals Rangers 2-0 in the semi final.
Rogic came off the bench for the final 15 minutes at Hampden Park, striking the post late in his fourth appearance back from the ankle injury that ruled the 24 -year-old playmaker out of the Socceroos’ recent World Cup qualifiers against Iraq and UAE.
Celtic have already claimed the Scottish Premiership title.
NETHERLANDS: JONES EYEING SILVERWARE, AUSSIES SET FOR RELEGATION
Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones is within touching distance of winning the Dutch top-flight title with Feyenoord, the club’s first in 18 years.
Jones was between the posts to help his Eredivisie heavyweights comfortably defeat Vitesse Arnhem 2-0 on Sunday.
That victory, coupled with Ajax’s 1-0 loss to defending champions PSV Eindhoven later that day, has lifted Feyenoord four points clear with two games to play.
Should they beat lower-table side Excelsior in their next match on May 7, the Giovanni van Bronckhorst-managed outfit will become champions for the first time since 1999.
Sunday’s win also took Jones to a league-high 17 clean sheets from 30 appearances, in a sensational season that’s had commentators suggesting he be recalled to the Socceroos at 35.
It wasn’t such a positive weekend for Craig Goodwin’s Sparta Rotterdam, who went down 1-0 to Den Haag in a fifth successive loss to remain in the relegation zone.
Goodwin came on at half time, but was unable to inspire an equaliser, while Dougall was confined to the bench. Sparta are two points from safety with four games to play.
Below Sparta is Stefan Mauk’s NEC. He was on the bench for a 1-0 loss to Excelsior.
GERMANY: LECKIE SET FOR RELGATION
Mathew Leckie played a full match in the Bundesliga for Ingolstadt in a 4-2 loss to Werder Bremen.
His side are in grave danger of being relegated, with Ingolstadt second-bottom in the league on 28 points – four shy of the relegation play-off spot with four games to go.
The bottom two teams are automatically relegated while the third has to play a two-legged tie with the third team in 2. Bundesliga.
DENMARK: AMINI AND IKONOMIDIS ON THE BORDER
In Denmark, Mustafa Amini played a full 90 minutes while Chris Ikonimidis came off the bench as Aarhus GF lost 1-0 to AAB.
Their side are 12th in the Danish Superliga out of 14 teams, but just one point above 14th place with six games to play. The bottom two sides are relegated.
ITALY: SAINSBURY POISED TO MISS EUROPA SPOT
Trent Sainsbury once again watched from the sideline as Inter went down 5-4 to Fiorentina, even though Maurco Icardi hit a treble.
Inter are in seventh spot on 56 points, two points below sixth-placed Milan who are occupying the Europa League third qualifying round spot. There are five matches left to be played.
OTHER AUSSIES IN EUROPEAN ACTION…
Mat Ryan recorded another clean sheet as Genk smashed Royal Excel Mouscron 6-0 in a Belgium league match where the Socceroos stopper was rarely challenged.
Jimmy Jeggo played a full game for Sturm Graz in a 2-0 loss to Mattersburg in the Austrian Superliga.
In the Czech Liga, former Wanderer Gol-Gol Mebrahtu played 85 minutes for Mlada Boleslav, and scored a hat-trick in their 3-2 victory over Karvina.
In Norway, Alex Gersbach came off with injury after 17 minutes in Rosenborg’s goalless draw with Aalesund to remain unbeaten and leading the Norwegian Eliteserien.
In Turkey, full-back Aziz Behich was on the wrong end of a 5-1 thumping at the hands of Akhisar Belediyespor to be 12th in the Turkish Super Lig with eight games left.
AUSSIES IN ASIA
Matt Jurman hit a matchwinning brace in Suwon Bluewings’ 2-1 comeback win over Gangwon in the K-League.
The former Sydney FC defender headed home two corners, with the first coming after a run to the near post on the half hour mark, before the winner was struck at the back post in the 77th minute.
Former Melbourne City striker David Williams scored a cracking ninth goal of the season in Haladas’ 4-2 loss to Debrecen in Hungary.
The 29-year-old volleyed the ball from outside the box into the bottom corner to keep his spot in the top six scorers in the Hungarian league.
Former Central Coast Mariner Mitch Duke came on in the 84th minute of Shimizu S-Pulse’s J-League clash with Kawaski to help inspire his team to a 90th minute equaliser.
Milos Degenek played a full match in Yokohama Marinos’s 2-0 loss to Kashima Reysol, while Oliver Bozanic came off the bench in Ventforet Kofu’s 1-1 draw with Cerezo Osaka.