English champions Manchester United FC will be looking to teach Premier League leaders Chelsea FC a lesson, FC Bayern München need to raise their spirits in Germany and differing agendas will be on display during the Madrid derby. uefa.com previews the action and you can follow the scores throughout the weekend from all the European leagues live on uefa.com's MatchCentre.
England: Chelsea FC v Manchester United FC (Sunday, 16.00)
Plenty of lessons are likely to be learned at Stamford Bridge this weekend, when Premier League champions United attempt to quell the rising confidence of pacesetters Chelsea. Victory would lift Sir Alex Ferguson's men to the summit, and they look set to be boosted by the returns of Nemanja Vidić, Ryan Giggs and Dimitar Berbatov, though Rio Ferdinand is still a doubt. "When people ask me which game I want to win this season it's the game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge," said left-back Patrice Evra, who will hope to keep quiet a Blues attack that has struck 19 goals in its last five games. United have kept just eight clean sheets in 17 outings, meanwhile, but will be determined to deliver Carlo Ancelotti's men an important psychological blow.
Germany: FC Bayern München v FC Schalke 04 (Saturday, 15.30)
Bayern are desperate to begin the healing process after a second loss to FC Girondins de Bordeaux on Tuesday left them on the brink of crashing out of the UEFA Champions League. A home match against surprise high-fliers Schalke is a welcome opportunity to make amends. "The players are annoyed and didn't sleep well," commented Bayern coach Louis van Gaal, whose charges lie sixth in the Bundesliga. "Now we have to fully concentrate on Schalke – another important match we have to win." Two spots higher than their hosts, Schalke have been trying to keep their feet on the ground, with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer saying: "Not even half of the season has been played yet. There are still some tough games ahead."
France: Olympique Lyonnais v Olympique de Marseille (Sunday, 21.00)
Riding high on the back of a 1-0 victory over AS Saint-Etienne on 31 October and a 1-1 draw against Liverpool FC, Lyon look to finish off a near-perfect week when OM come to town, themselves on the crest of a wave after a hefty midweek UEFA Champions League triumph. Lyon ensured their place in the last 16 of Europe's premier club competition for the seventh successive season with a late point on Wednesday, but it was Didier Deschamps's charges who claimed the week's most emphatic win: 6-1 against FC Zürich. With five points to make up on Les Gones in Ligue 1, and seven on leaders FC Girondins de Bordeaux, Benoît Cheyrou says they will not be resting on their laurels, however. "This scoreline gave us much self confidence," he said. "But it won't be enough to beat Lyon. We can give more than against Zürich."
Belgium: R. Standard de Liège v Club Brugge KV (Sunday, 20.30)
Eerste Klasse leaders Club Brugge visit the champions on Sunday keen to display their title credentials. Dutch coach Adrie Koster has done a fine job at the Jan Breydel Stadium and has his team playing in a daring, attacking style which has kept them unbeaten since 15 August. In contrast, Standard lie third, eight points off the pace, but their midweek UEFA Champions League success against Olympiacos FC has raised spirits at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne. "Our scouts say Club Brugge play much more technical football now," said Standard defender Mohamed Sarr. "But they also know we are at our best in the big matches."
Netherlands: FC Twente v AFC Ajax (Sunday, 16.30)
No question about the big match in the Netherlands, with Ajax hoping to wipe out the three-point gap separating them from leaders Twente. Steve McClaren's frontrunners have not lost in the Eredivisie so far this term and remain unbeaten in Enschede since 26 February, all the while playing in a classic 4-3-3 formation that has earned praise from Johan Cruyff. "Cruyff apparently finds it great to see FC Twente, under an English coach, playing typical Dutch-style football," said McClaren. Since the arrival of striker Marko Pantelić, Ajax coach Martin Jol has been able to use the same system, though Luis Suárez has captured most of the headlines thanks to 16 Eredivisie goals.
Spain: Club Atlético de Madrid v Real Madrid CF (Saturday, 22.00)
Atlético winger Simão has urged his team-mates to use their spirited display in the 2-2 UEFA Champions League draw with Chelsea as a source of inspiration to end their poor home record against second-placed Madrid. Mired in the Liga relegation zone, Los Rojiblancos have not beaten their local rivals at the Vicente Calderón for ten years, during which time they have shipped 18 goals in eight home league encounters. "We want to beat Madrid once and for all in our own stadium," Simão insisted. "We must face the challenge in high spirits and full of hope just like against Chelsea, when we battled hard and had the supporters on our side."
Italy: FC Internazionale Milano v AS Roma (Sunday, 20.45)
When Inter's league campaigns go well, the Nerazzurri usually tend to struggle in Europe, so Roma will be hoping the reverse applies after their upcoming opponents jumped to the top of UEFA Champions League Group F by defeating FC Dynamo Kyiv on Wednesday. Claudio Ranieri's visitors will be without captain Francesco Totti, Brazilian defender Juan and Rodrigo Taddei against the Serie A leaders, but Chilean international David Pizarro is nonetheless anxious for three points "to avoid further problems". The Giallorossi lie 14th and cannot afford to disappoint their supporters yet again. "Our position in the standings is not great and what we really want now is revenge, starting this weekend," added the 30-year-old.
All times local; England is one hour behind CET. Follow the scores throughout the weekend from all the European leagues live on uefa.com's MatchCentre.
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