Langerak headed back to big time as Stuttgart on brink of promotion

Socceroos goalkeeper Mitch Langerak is on the brink of bouncing back to the Bundesliga with VfB Stuttgart - and the chance to go up as the owner of a championship medal is beckoning.

Mitch Langerak

Mitch Langerak in action for Stuttgart Source: Getty Images

The 28-year-old gloveman - now running neck-and-neck with long-time Socceroos incumbent Mat Ryan - is set to be the sole Australian in Germany's top flight following the relegation of Mathew Leckie's Ingolstadt.

It's the rich reward for a season of unrelenting consistency for Stuttgart, who remain atop the 2.Bundesliga on goal difference despite losing 1-0 to second-placed Hannover 96 on Monday (AEST).

With one game to go, victory over relegation-threatened Wurzburger Kickers at the Mercedes-Benz Arena next weekend will send Stuttgart back into the top flight - after being relegated for only the second time in their history last season - and all but confirm them as champions.

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The only possibility of the party being wrecked is the incredibly unlikely scenario of Stuttgart losing their final game by at least a one-goal margin, Hannover going unbeaten and third-placed Eintracht Braunschweiger beating Karlsruher by 10 goals.



Langerak has been ever-present as Stuttgart have boasted the fourth meanest defence in the league, conceding 36 goals in 33 games.

He showed for his former club, German giants Borussia Dortmund, that he is a Bundesliga natural.

An audience in excess of 50,000 is expected at the Mercedes-Benz arena for an orgy of celebration, with the Kickers cast as sacrificial lambs next Sunday.

Even in the second tier, Stuttgart have averaged a stunning average home gate of 49,922 - the 20th highest tally in Europe.

Langerak' renaissance this season, after making just three appearances because of injury in 2015-2016, has propelled him alongside Ryan in the Socceroos rankings.

He started ahead of Ryan in March's 1-1 draw against Iraq, and was credited with preventing Australia sliding to what would have been a calamitous loss in Tehran.

Though Ryan was preferred for the subsequent 2-0 win over UAE, Langerak will once again be pushing hard to oust him when Ange Postecoglou names his squad for 'super' June, with Australia to tackle Saudi Arabia in a key World Cup qualifier, Brazil in an exhibition match before heading to Russia for the Confederations Cup.


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Published 15 May 2017 at 11:32am
By Dave Lewis