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Inter and Dortmund look to keep feet on the gas

Published: Friday 21 January 2011, 10.00CET
Borussia Dortmund aim to move further clear in Germany and Leonardo hopes FC Internazionale Milano can keep up their Ayrton Senna-like pace in UEFA.com's pick of the weekend action.
Inter and Dortmund look to keep feet on the gas
Inter have won four league games in a row under Leonardo ©Getty Images

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Published: Friday 21 January 2011, 10.00CET

Inter and Dortmund look to keep feet on the gas

Borussia Dortmund aim to move further clear in Germany and Leonardo hopes FC Internazionale Milano can keep up their Ayrton Senna-like pace in UEFA.com's pick of the weekend action.

UEFA.com's look at the pick of the weekend's league fixtures makes its 2011 debut featuring a top-of-the-table meeting in Cyprus, defiance from the Serie A titleholders and the Premier League's surprise package. You can follow the scores from across Europe with UEFA.com's MatchCentre.

Borussia Dortmund v VfB Stuttgart (Saturday, 15.30)
Twelve points clear at the Bundesliga summit, the talk in Germany is not if, but when Jürgen Klopp's side will clinch the title. The leaders returned to league action with an impressive 3-1 victory at Bayer 04 Leverkusen last Friday, but Klopp believes their best is yet to come. "We have not reached our limit yet and I don't think we will suffer a major setback soon," he said. All of which is not good news for Stuttgart, who ended a run of six league games without victory last week – a first domestic win under their third coach of the season, Bruno Labbadia – but are still three points from safety.

Blackpool FC v Sunderland AFC (Saturday, 16.00)
Under colourful manager Ian Holloway, Blackpool have been viewed by many as a breath of fresh air in the Premier League in their first season in the top flight since 1971. The seaside club that the famed Sir Stanley Matthews made his home in the 1950s, Blackpool have entertained fans and neutrals alike with a fearless approach. Those tactics looked to be misguided after heavy early-season losses at Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC, but with five away wins – more than anyone outside the top three – and a double sealed last week against Liverpool FC, Holloway's men sit in a comfortable tenth position. Sixth-placed Sunderland are also enjoying a successful campaign, but after selling striker Darren Bent to Aston Villa FC in midweek, will need to find a scoring solution against opponents who have registered at least once in every home fixture this term.

AC Omonia v APOEL FC (Saturday, 17.00)
With 20 titles each, the two most successful sides in Cyprus meet in a contest that could determine who will win the race to celebrate their 21st. Champions AC Omonia sit second, four points behind their Nicosia rivals, but are well placed to heap the pressure on APOEL after the league pacesetters were knocked out of the Cypriot Cup by Apollon Limassol FC on Wednesday. However, they will have to do so without the league's top scorer – Michalis Constantinou – who is suspended. "We need to lift our heads after this defeat [to Apollon]," said APOEL defender Marios Elia. "A big game awaits us and we have to do what is necessary to win."

Udinese Calcio v FC Internazionale Milano (Sunday, 12.30)
Inter have won all five games – four in Serie A and one in the Coppa Italia, scoring 15 goals in the process – since Leonardo replaced Rafael Benítez as coach. The Brazilian's perfect record will be severely tested, though, when the Nerazzurri visit in-form Udinese. Francesco Guidolin's side have taken seven points in three league games this year, with the draw a 4-4 thriller at Serie A leaders AC Milan. "Inter must always look to win; it is in the team's DNA," Leonardo said after a 3-2 win against AC Cesena saw Inter reduce the gap between them and Milan to six points with a game in hand. "If Ayrton Senna started 25th, he would still think about finishing first."

FC Groningen v FC Twente (Sunday, 14.30)
Twente recommenced their title defence with a 5-0 win against Heracles Almelo on Wednesday, but coach Michel Preud'homme is steeled for sterner tests. "I'm glad we started like this, especially looking at the tough programme we face," he said. That tricky schedule starts on Sunday as they visit the this term's surprise package, Groningen. Lying three points behind the second-placed champions in fourth, Pieter Huistra's side have entertained with goalscorers like Tim Matavž (10) and Andreas Granqvist (8) catching the eye. "When the other teams keep losing points, it gives us the chance to stay in the race," said Huistra, a former winger with both Groningen and Twente. "We have to raise the bar every time to play better, with the ultimate goal to play European football."

Real Madrid CF v RCD Mallorca (Sunday , 19.00)
Mallorca striker Pierre Webó hopes José Mourinho's side will have "an off day" when the Liga's ninth-placed side visit the Santiago Bernabéu. Currently four points off leaders FC Barcelona, Madrid can ill afford another setback, yet Webó believes his team are capable of reproducing their surprise result of two seasons ago. "I remember back in 2008/09 we won there [3-1 on 24 May 2009]," recalled the Cameroonian international. "This time around we will have to play the perfect game and hope they are not at their best. Perhaps they will be feeling the physical effects of their Copa del Rey encounter against Club Atlético de Madrid. If that's the case, we must look to take advantage."

Kick-off times CET; Cyprus local time is one hour ahead, England one hour behind.

Last updated: 21/01/11 10.24CET

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