Mitch Langerak might have one eye on the Caltex Socceroos’ upcoming World Cup qualifiers but the Vfb Stuttgart keeper is also focussed on pushing his club to the championship in Germany.
With Langerak is stellar form between the sticks, Stuttgart is on track for the title in the Bundesliga2 and an immediate return to Germany’s top flight.
With 12 games to go this season, Stuttgart currently enjoys a five-point gap at the top of the league and in an excellent position to finish as league champions.
Hannover 96 are the closest challengers, with Union Berlin a further point back in third position.
While the top two sides gain automatic promotion to the Bundesliga, the title and some shiny new silverware is what Langerak and his teammates will really want.
After injury disrupted his 2015/16 campaign, Langerak has been a model of consistency this season and a major factor in Stuttgart’s sensational form.
The 28-year-old gloveman has played all 22 matches in the league, keeping seven clean sheets and conceding only 23 goals.
His stats are pretty impressive too with 67 saves made, catching 16 out of 17 crosses he’s attempted to take, with 10 punches.
While there’s still a third of the season to go, Stuttgart are the hottest team in the league right now on the back of a five-game winning streak.
But they still have a few hurdles to overcome on the run-in, with matches against all the other teams in the top five before the end of the season.
It starts this weekend as Stuttgart makes the trip to fourth-placed Eintracht Braunschweiger, a side they beat 2-0 at home back in September.
The key match is likely to come in the penultimate round of the season as they visit second-placed Hannover 96 in a clash that could well determine the champions.
If Stuttgart can hold on to win the championship, it would mark a return to the Bundesliga for Langerak, who spent five seasons in the German giants Borussia Dortmund where he won two league titles and a German Cup (DFB Pokal).
He also won a Hyundai A-League Championship with Melbourne Victory in 2009.
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