The top two meet in Germany, Romania and Austria, emotional ties will be tested for two former Genoa CFC players while there is a big derby in Russia as uefa.com surveys the weekend's top games. Follow the scores from all the European leagues live with uefa.com's MatchCentre.
Hamburger SV v Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Saturday, 18.30)
The Bundesliga's two remaining unbeaten clubs go head-to-head separated by a meagre goal at the top of the table. HSV coach Bruno Labbadia was also in charge of leaders Leverkusen last season adding extra zest to an already spicy fixture, although he did dismiss the significance of the connection, saying "this is not something for me to talk about". Meanwhile, Labbadia's successor at Leverkusen Jupp Heynckes is relishing the encounter. "Two creative teams will meet, both playing attacking football. I like the way HSV have played so far and expect a high-paced game with lots of quality football."
Italy: Genoa CFC v FC Internazionale Milano (Saturday, 20.45)
Thiago Motta and Diego Milito may be on the treatment table, but they have made sure to warn their Inter team-mates of what to expect against Genoa, the club they left this summer to join the Nerazzurri. "They all know we face a very difficult game on Saturday," said Milito, who scored 24 league goals for the Rossoblù last term. While the Argentinian striker is certainly out with a thigh problem, Motta is targeting a return from injury at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium. "I'm almost ready, but we have to be sensible," said the Brazilian. "It will be a great game in a wonderful stadium. I hope to play." Fifth-placed Genoa have made another encouraging start and may even have the rare support of city rivals UC Sampdoria, who are level on points with Inter at the Serie A summit.
Valencia CF v FC Barcelona (Sat 22.00)
Shorn of the injured David Villa, Unai Emery's Valencia side will aim to prevent Barcelona achieving their best ever start to a Liga campaign when the European champions visit Mestalla. The Blaugrana are hoping to make it seven wins from seven in the league in an encounter that has produced 243 goals in 74 meetings. "We know Barcelona are a difficult prospect but the important thing for us is to take all three points," Los Ché's David Silva said. "We're going into this game with the same hope and intensity as we would with any other match."
France: Montpellier Hérault SC v AS Saint-Etienne (Saturday, 19.00)
St-Etienne will look be looking to beat another top-three team when they go to promoted Montpellier on Saturday, their first visit to La Mosson in ten years. After starting the season with three straight defeats, Alain Perrin's charges are unbeaten in four, including victory in the French League Cup first round, and on their last Ligue 1 outing beat champions FC Girondins de Bordeaux 3-1. Following back-to-back wins, Montpellier are third and if past meetings are anything to go by, this could be a classic: when they last met at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in February 2000, Les Verts ran out 5-4 winners.
England: Portsmouth FC v Tottenham Hotspur FC (Saturday, 15.00)
This time last season, Portsmouth were flying high under Harry Redknapp, seventh in the Premier League and fresh from winning their first FA Cup for 69 years. Tottenham were bottom with two points from eight games. Soon after, Redknapp left the south coast for north London and, with Spurs now third and Pompey propping up the division, circumstances could not be more different. A tough reception awaits Redknapp on his return to Fratton Park – with the club recently lurching from one off-the-field crisis to another, on top of their poor form – but their former manager is in bullish mood. "I've been the best manager they have ever had, I'm very proud of what I have achieved." Those achievements may be momentarily forgotten, come kick-off Saturday.
Russia: FC Spartak Moskva v FC Lokomotiv Moskva (Sunday, 14.00)
Spartak and Lokomotiv have both been rejuvenated by coaching changes this season, with the latter going ten matches unbeaten under Yuri Semin. Caretaker boss Valeri Karpin has led Spartak back from a seven-point deficit to trail leaders FC Rubin Kazan by just one with six matches remaining, but their capital rivals are not out of the hunt either, and can go third with victory in the derby. "Rubin are the favourites to win the league but it's not over yet," said Semin, "If we beat all of our remaining opponents, we can take the title."
Romania: FC Rapid Bucureşti v CFR 1907 Cluj (Saturday, 18.00)
With nine matches gone in Liga 1, just five points separate the top 13 sides and even though it is very tight, there is no doubting the main event of the weekend as early pacesetters Rapid welcome second-placed CFR. The hosts have made a great start under Viorel Hizo – who has rebuilt the squad around young talent – but this is their first big test. CFR are also going well in Europe and Hizo is at pains ensure his youthful charges maintain their work-rate, even using Romania's recent FIFA World Cup qualifying 5-0 demolition at the hands of Serbia as an example. "I will show my players the DVD of the Serbia-Romania match and explain this is how we have to play: always aggressive, no matter what the score."
FK Austria Wien v FC Salzburg (Saturday, 18.00)
First also meet second in Austria as the country waits to see if Austria Wien can emerge as real challengers to titleholders Salzburg. Last champions in 2006, the hosts have made a strong start to the season, going unbeaten at home in all competitions and midfielder Zlatko Junuzović said: "It may look like Salzburg have the better squad on paper, but they have seldom had something to show from their visits to the Franz Horr Stadium in the past, and that's the way it should stay."
All times local. Follow the scores throughout the weekend from all the European leagues live on uefa.com's MatchCentre.
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