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London rivals seek derby gains

Published: Friday 5 February 2010, 18.06CET
A meeting of two title contenders in the Premier League and VfL Wolfsburg's attempt to stop the rise of in-form FC Bayern München feature in's preview of the weekend action.
London rivals seek derby gains
William Gallas (right) tries to evade Didier Drogba during the teams' first meeting of the season in November ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 5 February 2010, 18.06CET

London rivals seek derby gains

A meeting of two title contenders in the Premier League and VfL Wolfsburg's attempt to stop the rise of in-form FC Bayern München feature in's preview of the weekend action.

A meeting of two title contenders in the Premier League is the standout fixture on a weekend when two Coppa Italia semi-finalists come together in Italy and Bundesliga champions VfL Wolfsburg are tasked with stopping in-form FC Bayern München. You can follow the scores from all the European leagues live on's MatchCentre.

England: Chelsea FC v Arsenal FC (Sunday, 16.00)
Having comprehensively lost to Manchester United FC last weekend, third-placed Arsenal have an early chance to reaffirm their title credentials when they make the trip from north to west London to play the Premier League leaders. Boasting 11 wins from 12 home league matches this term, Chelsea will be fancied to complete a league double over their opponents, while the Gunners will have been lifted by the Blues' inability to take three points from their game in hand in midweek, a 1-1 draw at Hull City AFC. Deco, however, is not overly concerned, saying: "We are still top and if you said at the start we would be two points clear, we would say it is a good place to be."

Italy: ACF Fiorentina v AS Roma (Sunday, 20.45)
Eleventh in Serie A, Fiorentina will look to kick-start their faltering season when they host in-form Roma. "We are proud to still be competing in three different competitions," said Viola coach Cesare Prandelli after a 1-0 defeat by FC Internazionale Milano in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals on Wednesday. "We have to recharge our batteries very quickly because the game against Roma is difficult and important." The Giallorossi are undefeated in 12 league games, a run which has drawn them to within eight points of leaders Inter. "It's too early to talk about the Scudetto," said midfielder Daniele De Rossi. "If there is a chance, we will be there to grab it."

Germany: VfL Wolfsburg v FC Bayern München (Saturday, 15.30)
Bayern arrive in Lower Saxony to take on the Bundesliga champions in markedly different form to their opponents, having won their last seven league matches. Wolfsburg are without a victory in eight and recently sacked Armin Veh, replacing him on a caretaker basis with reserve-team coach Lorenz-Günther Köstner. "I have experienced a team over the past days of which I can be very proud," said Köstner, who drew his first game in charge at Hamburger SV last week.

Spain: Real Madrid CF v RCD Espanyol (Saturday 22.00)
Espanyol's Luis García warned their second-placed hosts that they face a tough challenge when the sides meet in the Spanish capital. The visitors to the Santiago Bernabéu have triumphed just once on the road this season while Los Merengues – who are five points behind leaders FC Barcelona – have an unblemished record in their ten home league fixtures. Such statistics have failed to dim García's optimism. "[Madrid] are aware we are going to make things difficult for them and that's why they will be desperate for three points against us," he said. "One of the keys to our game will be to try to steal possession and if we do our job well we can gain a prestigious victory."

France: Stade Rennais FC v FC Girondins de Bordeaux (Saturday, 21.00)
Having shone at the Africa Cup of Nations, Asamoah Gyan is back in the fold for eighth-placed Rennes, though the Ghanaian is unlikely to feature against the champions. Six points clear of Montpellier Hérault SC at the summit, Bordeaux have not lost in 15 games and remain in contention on four fronts, their latest achievement being a 1-0 win against second-tier CS Sedan-Ardennes in the League Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.

All times are local. Follow the scores from all European leagues live on's MatchCentre through the weekend.

Last updated: 06/02/10 11.53CET

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