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Published: Friday 17 April 2009, 18.40CET
After a thrilling few days of UEFA club competition action, domestic football returns to the agenda with AZ Alkmaar able to clinch their first Dutch title in 28 years and FC Porto aiming to recover from midweek disappointment.
Around the leagues
AZ Alkmaar are one win from the Eredivisie title ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 17 April 2009, 18.40CET

Around the leagues

After a thrilling few days of UEFA club competition action, domestic football returns to the agenda with AZ Alkmaar able to clinch their first Dutch title in 28 years and FC Porto aiming to recover from midweek disappointment.

After a thrilling few days of UEFA club competition action, domestic football returns to the agenda with AZ Alkmaar able to clinch their first Dutch title in 28 years and FC Porto aiming to bounce back from midweek disappointment. Meanwhile, the championship credentials of VfL Wolfsburg and FC Rubin Kazan will also come under the microscope, while Valencia CF have eyes on another prize as uefa.com surveys the pick of the weekend action. You can follow the scores from all the European leagues live on uefa.com's MatchCentre.

For a look ahead to the weekend's FA Cup last-four ties at Wembley, with UEFA Champions League semi-finalists Manchester United, Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC all in action, click here. For a preview of Juventus's meeting with FC Internazionale Milano, click here, and news of Claude Puel's enduring confidence that Olympique Lyonnais can arrest their recent slide can be read here. A preview of the new Finnish season is available here.

AZ Alkmaar v BV Vitesse (Saturday, 20.45)
A win against Vitesse will secure AZ a first Eredivisie title since 1981 and only their second ever. But despite being unbeaten since September and boasting an eleven-point lead with four games left, coach Louis van Gaal is wary, especially as the club missed out on the top honour to PSV two seasons ago on the last day of the campaign. "I have never seen an entertaining championship-deciding match before although AZ themselves are an exception to this rule," said Van Gaal in reference to the deciding game 28 years ago, when Alkmaar won 5-1 at Feyenoord.

Portugal: A. Académica de Coimbra v FC Porto (Sunday, 19.00)
A fourth successive Liga title would be some consolation for Porto following UEFA Champions League elimination. However, still smarting from Wednesday's home defeat by Manchester United FC, a trip to Coimbra represents a potential banana skin. The last Liga reverse suffered by Jesualdo Ferreira's team came in this part of Portugal five months ago, at A. Naval 1º Maio, and in Académica they face a side on the crest of a wave following a shock 1-0 win at SL Benfica last weekend. "I felt like a hero that night," said their goalscorer at the Estádio da Luz, William Tiero. "I'd love to repeat that." With four points separating Porto from second-placed Sporting Clube de Portugal, expectations will weigh more heavily on the reigning champions.

Spain: Valencia CF v Sevilla FC (Sun, 19.00)
Valencia's prospects for 2009 appeared bleak a month ago. Eliminated from the UEFA Cup and Copa del Rey, a meagre return of just one win in ten Liga games saw them slip from a position as FC Barcelona's principal title rivals to eighth. Yet spurred on by six goals from strike pairing David Villa and Juan Mata, they have won three on the bounce, hitting their stride as all around them falter. Already fourth, another win against third-placed Sevilla would strengthen their bid for a UEFA Champions League spot. "It's going to be very difficult as Sevilla are ahead of us on merit," said captain Carlos Marchena.

Germany: VfL Wolfsburg v Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Saturday, 15.30)
Leverkusen have been an enigmatic force in Germany all season. Top of the Bundesliga in November, a run of three wins in 14 league outings has seen them nose-dive to ninth, but they carry a real threat to current pacesetters Wolfsburg, three points ahead of FC Bayern München and Hamburger SV. A 4-2 German Cup victory for Leverkusen against Bayern last month showed what can happen when everything clicks, and Wolfsburg have cause for concern despite claiming 37 out of a maximum 39 points at home this season. "We know about Wolfsburg's sensational home record," said visiting coach Bruno Labbadia. "But if we did not believe in winning there, we would not be Bayer 04 Leverkusen."

Russia: FC Rubin Kazan v FC Dinamo Moskva (Sunday, 19.00)
These sides occupied two of Russia's top three places last season and, in similar territory four matches into the 2009 campaign, this will be an early test of their title ambitions. Reigning Premier-Liga champions Rubin picked up six points against Dinamo last term and that ultimately proved the difference in the race for the title. There is again little to choose between them this time around: both booked Russian Cup semi-final places on Wednesday, and while second-placed Dinamo are a point ahead of Sunday's opponents, Rubin are one of only two Russian teams still unbeaten.

Turkey: Beşiktaş JK v Bursaspor (Sunday, 20.00)
Second-placed Beşiktaş JK have a tricky game on Sunday against a Bursaspor side who are sixth in the table and hoping for European football next season. It promises to be a particularly tough encounter for the Black Eagles, who have been waiting for leaders Sivasspor to slip up in the title race, as Bursaspor are coached by Ertuğrul Sağlam, who was in charge of Beşiktaş at the beginning of the season but later resigned.

All times local. England and Portugal are one hour behind CET. Turkey is one hour ahead, Russia two hours.

Last updated: 18/04/09 18.06CET

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