We’re approaching the last few games of the season and, despite it being a quiet week overall on the loan front, the stakes are increasingly high for the majority of Chelsea’s army of loanees.
After a glut of goals the last time we were with you, we’re only able to bring you a solitary effort from Tammy Abraham this time around, but it was enough to maintain the streak of at least one goal being scored by a loanee in every full week of the club season. It also earned Bristol City a point that moves them slightly closer to mathematically avoiding relegation from the Championship.
That impudent finish was his 25th goal of the season for the Robins, with two more on England Under-21 duty moving him closer to his target of 30 for the campaign. He is level with Glenn Murray and Dwight Gayle as the second-top scorer in the league, behind Chris Wood of Leeds, but with his competition all playing for the best teams in the division, his goalscoring feats are even more impressive, as is the fact he’s done the bulk of his damage away from home. Oh, and he’s 19.
13 – Tammy Abraham has scored 13 goals away from home in the Championship this season; more than any other player. Acclimatised.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 17, 2017
Loic Remy, injured etc.
The Championship took centre stage over Easter Weekend with action on Friday and Monday, and for Fikayo Tomori (despite the defender not getting any playing time) and Brighton there were celebrations aplenty as two wins confirmed their promotion to the Premier League. Huddersfield, who drew with Derby County and confirmed Brighton could no longer be caught, are still without Kasey Palmer and Izzy Brown, but could have one or both back for next weekend, when they will continue to hunt down a faltering Newcastle United. They took one point from six over Easter, with Christian Atsu laying on the assist for their goal in a 3-1 defeat at Ipswich Town on Monday.
Fulham are surging at the right time and have moved into the top six with three games remaining; Tomas Kalas (winning a penalty) and Lucas Piazon each claimed an assist in their win over Norwich on Friday, a 3-1 scoreline matched against Aston Villa three days later with Kalas impressive again, and Piazon a late substitute.
The focus in League One remains firmly on whether Swindon Town can pull off an unlikely escape from relegation, but after a draw at home to AFC Wimbledon and a defeat at Walsall, they remain two points adrift of Bury, who have the benefit of a game in hand. Fankaty Dabo and Charlie Colkett started both but only finished one match apiece, with Islam Feruz the customary loanee outcast amongst seven at the County Ground.
Charlton Athletic, on the other hands, are officially safe after a draw at Coventry and a win over Gillingham made it a productive double-header. Jay Dasilva earned two more starts and turned in good displays, leading to many Addicks fans questioning why exactly it took so long to get him involved.
Jake Clarke-Salter played all of Bristol Rovers’ 2-1 defeat at Gillingham on Good Friday but played no part on Monday against Oldham, in part possibly due to a lack of perceived effort in defending the Gills’ late winner.
The playoff race is wide open in League Two as Wycombe find themselves just two points off seventh-placed Blackpool with three games to go, and nine teams are ostensibly chasing three places. A defeat to Mansfield on Friday will not have helped their cause, but they and Jamal Blackman rebounded well to win 2-0 at Barnet on Monday with what was the big man’s 16th clean sheet of the season.
Crewe failed to record a victory over the holiday weekend, with Alex Kiwomya afforded 45 minutes in defeat away to Yeovil, but should be just about safe from relegation at this stage.
In the National League, Solihull Moors restored Nathan Baxter to their first-choice goalkeeper after losing 9-0 at Tranmere in his absence, and the 18 year-old rewarded them with a first win in seven attempts on Monday away to Macclesfield Town. The 3-1 victory lifts the Moors three points clear of safety with two to play.
In perhaps the most predictable news of the week, neither Jeremie Boga nor Victorien Angban were included in Granada’s starting eleven for their first match under new manager Tony Adams. Boga did at least play the last quarter of an hour in the home clash with Celta Vigo, but a 3-0 defeat was already well on its way. Relegation will be confirmed as soon as two games’ time.
Juan Cuadrado was part of an impressive Juventus win over Barcelona in midweek Champions League action before pulling double-duty and playing 88 minutes in a 2-0 Serie A win over Pescara on Saturday, claiming an assist as they edge ever-closer to another Scudetto, one which would trigger an obligation to complete his permanent transfer away from Stamford Bridge.
Mario Pašalić was suspended for the Milan derby but, once again this week, both he and the club indicated that they would be keen to explore a permanent stay this summer.
After a resurgence in form, both in terms of points and defensive stability, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Andreas Christensen were beaten 5-3 at Hoffenheim this weekend to dent their late Europa League qualification bid. The Dane has five league matches left with the Foals before returning to SW6.
Michael Hector has fallen out of favour with Eintracht Frankfurt in the past few weeks, curiously after his most consistent run of appearances, and is unlikely to feature very much more in the run-in as the club appear less than convinced about their long-term need for him in their preparations for next season.
With attentions possibly turning towards the Cup Final in a fortnight, Vitesse produced one of their worst performances of the season on Saturday as they lost 1-0 away to Excelsior and failed to capitalise on an opportunity to move within a win of 4th-placed Utrecht. Matt Miazga left the field injured during the first half with a hamstring complaint that was mainly borne out of precaution, whilst Lewis Baker and Nathan were kept very quiet before being withdrawn. Mukhtar Ali was an unused substitute and Danilo Pantic was not involved for Excelsior.
Bertrand Traore played very well for Ajax in their 2-0 win over Schalke in the Europa League Quarter Finals but, with Kasper Dolberg fit again, was left on the bench for their 5-1 mauling of Heerenveen in the Eredivisie three days later. Ajax have closed the gap on Feyenoord to a single point at the top of the table, but face Marco van Ginkel’s PSV in a massive match next weekend. The goalscoring midfielder was kept off the scoresheet this weekend as they were held to a 1-1 draw at ADO Den Haag, firmly ending any faint title aspirations.
Cristian Cuevas played 39 minutes of Sint-Truiden’s 2-1 win over Lierse before leaving with an injury, whilst Mouscron beat Roeselare 5-3 with Matej Delač once again amongst the substitutes.
There was no league action in Turkey for Kenneth Omeruo and everyone else this weekend owing to national elections.
Miro Muheim was an unused substitute for FC Zurich against Aarau, but his progression into the matchday squad is a welcome positive.
Wallace was not called upon for Copa Libertadores or Serie A action for Gremio this week.
There was also no Joao Rodriguez for Cortuluá; the forward hasn’t played for the first team in more than a month now.