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Big weekend ahead for Czechs and Danes

Published: Friday 14 September 2012, 9.36CET
Top of the table clashes in the Czech Republic and Denmark, and a famous Hungarian side back on song lead our look ahead to the best games of the coming weekend.

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Published: Friday 14 September 2012, 9.36CET

Big weekend ahead for Czechs and Danes

Top of the table clashes in the Czech Republic and Denmark, and a famous Hungarian side back on song lead our look ahead to the best games of the coming weekend.

Czech Republic: FC Viktoria Plzeň v AC Sparta Praha (Saturday 15.15)
The top two go head-to-head at the Městský Stadion on Saturday with hosts Plzeň seeking to bring Sparta's unbeaten start to the season to an end. The capital club are three points clear of Plzeň at the summit but have only beaten Pavel Vrba's side once in their last six outings, and both sides will be keen to lay down an early marker in the title race in front of a capacity crowd. "It is the seventh round, so the result will not decide who finishes top," said Vrba. "It will be an extraordinary game, proved by the fact that tickets have sold out. We will play as if it is a title decider."

Hungary: MTK Budapest v Egri FC (Saturday 18.30)
MTK fell on hard times when they were relegated in 2010/11, but having won promotion – and reached the Hungarian Cup final – last season, the momentum is with József Garami's 23-time champions; MTK top the table after six games, and as they meet another promoted side, Egri, boast the only unbeaten record in the NB I. "You always hope, but we've started the season better than I would have felt possible," admitted Garami, 73, and his captain József Kanta hopes this is no flash in the pan. "I'm convinced that even in times of difficulty we will remain strong," the 28-year-old explained. "We are realistic and won’t be disappointed if we finish mid-table, but naturally we will be doing our very best in every match."

Denmark: FC København v FC Nordsjælland (Saturday, 19.00)
The Parken Stadium will be Nordsjælland's home ground in the UEFA Champions League this season, but they will be the visitors on Saturday as they take on København, who lead the third-ranked champions by three points at the top of the Danish table. Nordsjælland midfielder Andreas Laudrup – the Barcelona-born son of a certain Michael Laudrup – heads to Copenhagen in great form, having earned a penalty and scored a superb goal in Denmark's 3-0 UEFA European Under-21 Championship win against Northern Ireland on Monday. "For a long time I have been working on being more of a goal threat, and it is nice when it pays off," the 21-year-old said. "Of course, it gives me more confidence, and right now all the focus is on the FCK game."

Spain: Sevilla FC v Real Madrid CF (Saturday 22.00)
Sevilla fans would never openly admit to fearing any team in the Spanish top flight, but they could be forgiven for emitting a groan on learning that it is champions Real Madrid who will next visit the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium. José Mourinho's side have registered 6-2 victories on their last two Liga visits to the home of Los Rojiblancos, yet according to Sevilla forward Álvaro Negredo, times have changed. "In terms of discipline, our dressing room is a different place this season," the UEFA EURO 2012 winner said. "We've gone two years conceding six goals here and that's not at all good, for us or our supporters. I think – if we are focused - we can do Madrid some damage this time."

Italy: Genoa CFC v Juventus (Sunday 15.00)
Antonio Conte's charges wrapped up the title in flawless fashion last term and have showed no signs of letting up this time round. With two wins from two, pacesetters Juventus will provide stern opposition for Genoa, who have a familiar face in their ranks in forward Ciro Immobile. The Italian Under-21 international came through the Bianconeri academy in 2008 but will not be swayed by sentiment. "It will be very strange to face Juventus," he said. "I have good friends there, but on Sunday they will be my opponents." The visitors' 41-match unbeaten record strikes an ominous chord, but Immobile remains undaunted. "I will focus on scoring as I always do," he explained. "I do not fear anything."

All times CET

Last updated: 05/12/13 3.01CET

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