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Titles on the line across Europe

Published: Friday 30 April 2010, 11.00CET
FC Twente and SL Benfica are on the verge of winning their domestic titles while Croatia's big derby has an extra edge as UEFA.com sees where crowns can be won and lost this weekend.
Titles on the line across Europe
Jorge Jesus can steer Benfica to the Portuguese title against Porto on Sunday ©Getty Images

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Published: Friday 30 April 2010, 11.00CET

Titles on the line across Europe

FC Twente and SL Benfica are on the verge of winning their domestic titles while Croatia's big derby has an extra edge as UEFA.com sees where crowns can be won and lost this weekend.

UEFA.com looks at a selection of the domestic titles that can be won this weekend. For a rundown of the other eye-catching fixtures across the continent, have a read of our Around the leagues preview.

With two matches to go in the Portuguese Liga SL Benfica are on the brink of clinching their 32nd championship – at the home of their nemeses in recent seasons, FC Porto. With a six-point lead over SC Braga, the Eagles travel to Estádio do Dragão in the knowledge that a draw will suffice. Even in defeat their celebrations would begin should Braga fail to beat FC Paços de Ferreira at home.

Porto, however, will not roll over easily remaining, as they do, in the hunt for a second-placed finish that carries the prize of a place in next season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. The Dragons are five points adrift of Braga. All eyes, though, will be on Jorge Jesus's men and their attempts to win the title for the first time in five years.

In the Netherlands, FC Twente coach Steve McClaren has no doubt his team's one-point cushion over AFC Ajax – who have not dropped a point since 31 January – will prove enough heading into the final day of the Eredivisie season. "I have faith in these players. I believe." Twente have finished eventual runners-up in each of the last two seasons but know that victory at NAC Breda on Sunday will guarantee their first title in their current form. "We are in an excellent position," added McClaren. "The ultimate goal is within our reach, but it will take a lot of work."

McClaren's faith, however, will have been tested in recent weeks by the eye-catching form of Ajax, who have won 13 successive league games to shave a nine-point gap down to one. A win against NEC Nijmegen and a draw or defeat for Twente and Martin Jol's charges will maintain the club's record of never having gone six seasons without being crowned Eredivisie champions.

In Croatia, NK Dinamo Zagreb have already missed two opportunities to secure their fifth consecutive championship. However, those spurned chances will not matter a jot if they can finally wrap up the title at home against arch-rivals HNK Hajduk Split. Dinamo only need a point from their last three games, but the incentive to do it on Saturday is something coach Krunoslav Jurčić cannot ignore. "This is always a special match and this time it could bring us a title," he said.

PFC Litex Lovech face a similarly advantageous situation in Bulgaria, needing just two points from their remaining three games, but ahead of their visit to PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1936, coach Angel Chervenkov is still not taking anything for granted. "We are still not champions and we must show complete focus in the next games," he said. "We are calmly looking forward to our next game."

Elsewhere, FC Sheriff are just a point away from winning their tenth straight title in Moldova but, ahead of their trip to FC Academia UTM Chişinău, coach Andrei Sosnitski told UEFA.com that despite being "well ahead of our opponents, I hope we won't relax and will put in a good performance".

Last updated: 30/04/10 22.07CET

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