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Derbies spice up decisive weekend

Published: Friday 16 April 2010, 9.00CET
There are crucial derbies in Rome, Manchester and Istanbul this weekend while Real Madrid CF, FC Girondins de Bordeaux and FC Twente will hope to get their title bids back on track.
Derbies spice up decisive weekend
Roma celebrate their 1-0 win against Lazio earlier in the season ©Getty Images

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Published: Friday 16 April 2010, 9.00CET

Derbies spice up decisive weekend

There are crucial derbies in Rome, Manchester and Istanbul this weekend while Real Madrid CF, FC Girondins de Bordeaux and FC Twente will hope to get their title bids back on track.

Crucial derbies around Europe top the weekend bill and UEFA.com is on hand to run through the continent's biggest fixtures. You can follow the scores from all the leagues live in UEFA.com's MatchCentre.

Italy: S.S. Lazio v AS Roma (Sunday, 18.30)
Fourteen points behind FC Internazionale Milano on 5 December, Claudio Ranieri's Roma are now one clear of the Nerazzurri at the Serie A summit after a 23-game unbeaten run. A big match at any time, their derby against Lazio assumes even greater significance with five fixtures remaining, as the new leaders chase a fourth Scudetto. "We don't fear Roma," said Lazio captain Tommaso Rocchi. "Obviously there is tension before a derby, but that's a positive." Lazio lie six points above the relegation zone after last weekend's 3-2 win at Bologna FC. "We don't have to look at the table," said Roma striker Mirko Vučinić. "In derbies there are no favourites, the points difference counts for nothing."

England: Manchester City FC v Manchester United FC (Saturday, 12.45)
Sir Alex Ferguson's side edged a seven-goal thriller in September to end City's 100% start to the campaign, but the stakes are far higher now. United's grip on their Premier League crown is slipping after losing at home to Chelsea FC and only drawing at Blackburn Rovers FC. They sit four points short of leaders Chelsea while in-form City are trying to hold off Tottenham Hotspur FC for the fourth UEFA Champions League qualifying spot. "We have beaten them once at home already [in the League Cup] and can do it again," said City manager Roberto Mancini. United midfielder Ryan Giggs added: "It's been a bad ten days for us, [but] we're going to keep fighting until the end."

France: FC Girondins de Bordeaux v Olympique Lyonnais (Saturday, 21.00)
On 19 April 2009, Bordeaux beat Lyon 1-0 as Laurent Blanc's men struck a key blow en route to winning a first Ligue 1 title in a decade and ending Les Gones' seven-year reign. Twelve months later, the tables could turn. Fifth-placed Bordeaux have lost three successive matches to find themselves nine points off the top. Despite holding a game in hand, Blanc has said the "title is over for us" and his team are now concentrating on securing European football next season. The mood is different at UEFA Champions League semi-finalists Lyon, who are third and eyeing a domestic and European double.

Turkey: Fenerbahçe SK v Beşiktaş JK (Sunday, 19.00)
There is more than just pride to play for here. Fenerbahçe are only a point behind surprise Super League leaders Bursaspor while a win for fourth-placed Beşiktaş would bring them to within one point of their hosts. However, defeat would effectively end the Black Eagles' title bid and put their European ambitions in jeopardy. "Any negative result will mean it would need a miracle for us to win the league," said Beşiktaş coach Mustafa Denizli. "Our current target is to qualify directly for the Champions League by finishing top." With the Şükrü Saracoğlu crowd behind them, Fenerbahçe start as favourites, yet Beşiktaş are boosted by the return of goalkeeper Rüştü Reçber and defender İbrahim Toraman from injury.

Spain: Real Madrid CF v Valencia CF (Sunday, 21.00)
Despite losing their 100% Liga home record against FC Barcelona last weekend, Sergio Ramos insists Madrid have not given up hope of wiping out the champions' three-point lead in the standings. "Dwelling on that [Barcelona defeat] would be a huge mistake because we're still playing for the title," the defender said ahead of the visit of third-placed Valencia, who have won twice in their last four league trips to the Santiago Bernabéu. "Until another team have been proclaimed champions, we're obliged to give everything we have, and, what's more, both teams have very difficult games between now and the end of the season."

Netherlands: FC Twente v Feyenoord (Sunday, 14.30)
AFC Ajax have whittled down Twente's advantage at the Eredivisie summit to one point with two games remaining. Steve McClaren's frontrunners welcome fourth-placed Feyenoord with a midweek reverse at AZ Alkmaar fresh in the memory. "It was very disappointing," McClaren said, "but we have to go on. We play at home on Sunday and still have it all in our own hands." Meanwhile Ajax, who entertain Heracles Almelo at the same time, are sensing blood after winning their last 12 matches, scoring 42 goals and conceding just two in the process. "This chase is incredible," said coach Martin Jol, whose charges were nine points adrift in early February. "I hope Twente continue to stutter so it will be us celebrating the title."

Belgium: Club Brugge KV vs RSC Anderlecht (Sunday, 16.00)
Midweek results make it possible for Anderlecht to take the Belgian crown if they beat closest rivals Club Brugge away from home. With five play-off games left, Les Mauves are 11 points clear of their hosts yet although a 30th championship looks imminent, coach Ariël Jacobs is playing it cool. "I don't want to talk about the title," he said. "This match at Club is just a big game we are eager to win." For Club Brugge, the prospect of Anderlecht clinching the title at the Jan Breydel stadium is hard to contemplate. "Over my dead body," said defender Carl Hoefkens. "I don't even want to think about that possibility. Our sense of honour has to ensure that their party is postponed by at least one week."

All kick-off times are local. Turkey is one hour ahead of CET, England one hour behind.

Last updated: 16/04/10 14.49CET

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