As the close of most European seasons draws closer, a number of our overseas Aussies are battling out for a place in a higher division or aiming to stay afloat.
After failing to defend their title this season, recently returned Socceroo Brad Jones and Feyenoord are set to claim a place in next season’s Europa League. Jones and his teammates sit in fourth position, 10 points clear of FC Utrecht and 13 points behind second-placed Ajax, who will book a Champions League qualification place.
Youngster Ajdin Hrustic and FC Groningen are set for a mid-table finish, with the club sitting seven points clear of the drop zone with two games remaining.
The news is not so good for Mark Birighitti at NAC Breda who sit just three points above the relegation play-off positions.
Meanwhile Kenny Dougall and Craig Goodwin’s Sparta Rotterdam currently occupy one of those positions, three points behind NAC. Sparta still face the prospect of automatic relegation, sitting just four points above 18th placed FC Twente.
If things go to plan for Mathew Leckie and Hertha Berlin in the final three games of the season, they will cap of a successful season. As it stands, Hertha sit in ninth position, six points behind RB Leipzig in a race for a Europa League qualification round place.
In the second tier of German football an exciting end to the season looms, with teams placed from fifth downwards a chance of still being relegated.
Robbie Kruse‘s VfL Bochum appear the team most likely to remain safe of all the teams featuring Australians with the club sitting in sixth position, seven points clear of 16th places St. Pauli. Promotion also remains a real possibility, as they remain just five points behind third placed Holstein Kiel.
Despite the heartbreak of his ACL injury, Brandon Borello will be hoping Kaiserslautern can perform a miracle to avoid the drop. The club is rooted to the bottom of the table, nine points from safety with the equal worse goal difference in the division. If things do go there way, they could claw their way into a relegation playoff against the third placed 3.Bundesliga team to decide their fate for next season.
While he has spent the second half of the season on loan in Scotland, Jamie Maclaren may be returning to a third division club in just a few weeks time. Right now, Darmstadt are in an automatic promotion position – four points from safety.
An exciting end to the season looms for Kwame Yeboah on loan at SC Paderborn from Borussia Monchengladbach. Having already clinched promotion, the club are now in a title fight with Magdeburg – with both sides even on points with three games remaining. Although, Paderborn do have a far superior goal difference.
Nick Ansell and Tondela look set to remain in the top division next season, as they currently sit eight points above the drop zone in 11th position.
Awer Mabil meanwhile faces a more nerve racking end to the season on loan at Pacos de Ferreira with the club sitting just two points from relegation with three games to play.
Meanwhile down a division, Anthony Carter‘s first season with Benfica II should see the club finish in mid-table, seven points above the drop zone with three games to go.
Mathematically James Jeggo and Sturm Graz are within touching distance of a title this season but that possibility remains minimal. With five games remaining, Jeggo’s team sit 11 points behind leaders RB Salzburg. Meanwhile they have a five-point gap to Rapid Wien in the race for a Champions League qualification round place.
James Holland‘s LASK Linz are not too far behind Sturm Graz, just a further point back from Rapid Wien. They are in pole position to claim some sort of European football at least, holding a nine-point advantage over Admira Moedling for a place in the Europa League qualification rounds.
Tomi Juric and Luzern are in a strong position to claim European football next season, currently sitting six points clear in third position. If they finish in either third or fourth, they will book a place in the Europa League qualification rounds.
Trent Sainsbury could have an important role to play on loan at Grasshopper in the final five matches with the club sitting just four points above the drop zone.
Duo Aleksandar Susnjar and Golgol Mebrahtu are set to have a battle on their hands in the coming weeks with Mlada Boleslav sitting just four points above the relegation zone with five games to play. Mlada have failed to reach the heights of last season, in which they claimed a fourth place finish.
Danny Vukovic and Genk remain very much in the running for European football next season, as they sit just two points behind Standard Liege and Gent in the Europa League position. With five games to play, qualifying for the Champions League also remains a possibility.
In the second tier, on loan full-back Alex Gersbach and RC Lens have their fate in their own hands heading into the final three league matches. As it stands, the club are five points above the drop zone with a goal difference of -1, the best of any team in the bottom half.
With one game to play in their relegation group, Mustafa Amini and AGF can now look forward to a European play-off against three other sides in the coming weeks. The winner of that knockout style competition with progress to the Europa League qualifying rounds.
With four games remaining, Aziz Behich and Bursaspor remain in real possibility of dropping to the second division. Although it must be noted, there is several other teams between them and their four-point gap to the relegation zone.