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Around the leagues

Published: Friday 11 December 2009, 21.58CET
Second plays third in Germany and Spain, Liverpool FC host Arsenal FC and FC Girondins de Bordeaux travel to Olympique Lyonnais as takes its pick of the weekend's leading domestic action.
Around the leagues
Alberto Aquilani (left) chases down Arsenal's Samir Nasri during the League Cup match in October ©AFP
Published: Friday 11 December 2009, 21.58CET

Around the leagues

Second plays third in Germany and Spain, Liverpool FC host Arsenal FC and FC Girondins de Bordeaux travel to Olympique Lyonnais as takes its pick of the weekend's leading domestic action.

Second plays third in Germany and Spain, Liverpool FC host Arsenal FC in England and French leaders FC Girondins de Bordeaux travel to Olympique Lyonnais as takes its pick of the weekend's domestic action. Follow the scores from all the European leagues live on's MatchCentre.

Spain: Valencia CF v Real Madrid CF (Saturday, 22.00)
Valencia striker David Villa insisted the void left by the injured David Silva (knee) would prove equally as galling for his side as the absences of Kaká (groin) and the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo would for their opponents at Mestalla this weekend. "We're both suffering losses but each team must get on with it and play to their strengths," El Guaje explained as third-placed Valencia prepare to face Manuel Pellegrini's Madrid. "We're eager to get three points and to catch Real Madrid in the standings. Our team is going well; we're [unbeaten in our last nine league games] and the fans are right behind us."

Germany: Werder Bremen v FC Schalke 04 (Saturday, 18.30)
With Bundesliga leaders Bayer 04 Leverkusen visiting strugglers Hertha BSC Berlin on Friday, the sides placed second and third in the table, level on 28 points, can ill afford to slip up when they meet at the Weserstadion. It promises to be a clash of cultures; Bremen have committed the fewest fouls in the league (226), while Schalke have made the most (320). For Schalke striker Kevin Kuranyi that may be indicative of the differences between the teams. "Bremen are the better side, but we've worked hard and picked up a lot of points. We still have to be more creative, but if we focus and work well in attack and defence we can win there." The game also pits Thomas Schaaf against Felix Magath, the man who preceded him as Bremen coach prior to his appointment in May 1999.

Italy: Atalanta BC v FC Internazionale Milano (Sunday, 15.00)
Inter made amends for last weekend's 2-1 defeat at Juventus by beating FC Rubin Kazan 2-0 on Wednesday to book a UEFA Champions League first knockout round place, but have an odd challenge ahead against Atalanta, with both coaches − Antonio Conte and José Mourinho − serving one-match suspensions. "We're working hard but the results are not coming," said the former Juventus and Italy midfielder Conte. "We are yet to solve a few important problems." With Atalanta fourth from bottom, Inter will look to get back to winning ways in Serie A as quickly as possible after seeing rivals AC Milan close to within four points of the summit.

England: Liverpool FC v Arsenal FC (Sunday, 16.00)
With no European football to contend with until February, UEFA Europa League contenders Liverpool can now focus all their attention on reclaiming a place in the Premier League's top four. To do so they will have to improve on a run of two wins in eight league games which has the Reds in seventh, four points adrift of Arsenal, in third, and three behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur FC. The return of Fernando Torres, who made his first appearance in five weeks in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League defeat against ACF Fiorentina, will undoubtedly help, while Arsène Wenger will recall a host of regulars after fielding a team with an average age of 21 for the midweek loss to Olympiacos FC.

France: Olympique Lyonnais v FC Girondins de Bordeaux (Sunday, 21.00)
Bordeaux travel to Lyon, the side they deposed as champions in the summer, looking to strengthen their grip on the Ligue 1 summit. Lyon ended their six-game winless run with a 4-0 victory against Debreceni VSC on Wednesday, but have not won in four Ligue 1 games. In contrast, Bordeaux have won their last four in all competitions and will be confident of improving their poor record at Stade de Gerland, where they have triumphed just once in their past 16 visits. Should they do so, they will stretch their lead over fourth-placed Lyon to eight points.

Cyprus: AC Omonia v APOEL FC (Sunday, 14.30)
Fresh from their 2-2 UEFA Champions League draw at Chelsea FC, which spelled the end of their European efforts for the season, APOEL have no time to rest on their laurels. Omonia await with the Nicosia rivals level on points at the top of the standings. APOEL collected just two points from their opening three league matches, but Ivan Jovanović's team have recorded eight wins and one draw in their subsequent nine games. Omonia, bidding to win their first title since 2003, lost their first league game of the season last weekend to an added-time goal at AEL Limassol FC.

Turkey: İstanbul BB SK v Kayserispor (Sunday, 13.30)
Kayserispor beat Bursaspor last weekend to go top of the Süper Lig after Fenerbahçe SK lost and Beşiktaş JK and Galatasaray AŞ drew. Having conceded just ten goals all season, they will look to prove they are worthy of their lofty position against mid-table İstanbul BB. Argentinian forward Franco Cangele is back from suspension and may partner DR Congo-born Ariza Makukula, whose 12 goals in as many league games have made the 28-year-old an overnight sensation in Turkey. Coach Tolunay Kafkas said: "There'll be no easy games for us anymore. It's important to be consistent throughout the league campaign. We aim to keep our current position."

All times local; England is one hour behind CET, Cyprus and Turkey are one hour ahead.

Around the leagues will return on Friday 15 January

Last updated: 08/01/10 14.43CET

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