UEFA.com's survey of the weekend's top domestic fixtures takes in a historic north-south confrontation in Germany, a lesser-known French derby, a city rivalry in Greece and potentially one of the most important encounters of the spring campaign in Turkey. Read more about the significance of FC Barcelona's visit to Hércules CF elsewhere, and follow the scores from across Europe with UEFA.com's MatchCentre.
Germany: SV Werder Bremen v FC Bayern München (Saturday, 15.30)
So often a fixture which has impacted upon the upper echelons of the Bundesliga, Saturday's instalment is notable for the fact that Bremen and Bayern are fighting for different goals as the season enters its second half. Fourteen points shy of runaway leaders Borussia Dortmund, Bayern's most likely target is ensuring they qualify for the UEFA Champions League in 2011/12, while Bremen − in 14th − need to put distance between themselves and the relegation zone. "Games against Bremen have always been something special, even when I was a Bayern fan as a little boy," said striker Thomas Müller. "Even though they have underachieved this season, there is a special rivalry to these matches."
France: LOSC Lille Métropole v RC Lens (Saturday, 21.00)
Four points clear at the top of Ligue 1, Lille host a Lens team in the Nord-Pas de Calais derby who have responded positively to the appointment of Laszlo Bölöni earlier this month. One off the bottom when Bölöni took charge, the Sang et Or have climbed to 17th, a point clear of trouble, with successive victories after the winter break. While they were overcoming SM Caen last weekend, their opponents – nicknamed the Barça du Nord (Barça of the north) in recognition of their attacking play this term − were struggling past fifth-tier ES Wasquehal in the French Cup. Striker Pierre-Alain Frau, who scored twice in a 4-1 win against Lens in September, said: "Lens have found some confidence. We don't expect to win 5-0. Lens will be keen for revenge."
Italy: FC Internazionale Milano v US Città di Palermo (Sunday, 15.00)
Palermo playmaker Javier Pastore is targeting UEFA Champions League qualification as the Rosanero head to San Siro seeking to bridge the three-point gap to fourth-placed S.S. Lazio. "We want to give this town something important," said the Argentinian international, who featured in the 5-3 loss in the equivalent fixture last season. Inter, like Palermo, required penalties to reach the Coppa Italia semi-finals in midweek. The Nerazzurri eliminated SSC Napoli and in doing so showed "a good reaction" to their first defeat under Leonardo, at Udinese Calcio, last weekend which left them nine points behind pacesetters AC Milan with a game in hand. Inter are without the suspended Cristian Chivu, and injured Dejan Stanković and Iván Córdoba.
Greece: Aris Thessaloniki FC v PAOK FC (Sunday, 18.30)
Aris's Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium will be a cacophony of noise and colour for the visit of arch-rivals PAOK. Both teams are through to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 but are experiencing contrasting fortunes domestically, with PAOK riding high in third while Aris, whose coach Héctor Cúper resigned this month, are languishing in tenth. Former Olympiacos FC striker Nery Castillo could make his debut for the hosts after returning to the Super League on a six-month loan from FC Shakhtar Donetsk. "I'm coming to a big club like Aris with great hopes of playing good football," said the 26-year-old. "For me this is an opportunity to return to Greece and show what I can achieve."
Turkey: Fenerbahçe SK v Trabzonspor AŞ (Sunday, 18.00)
Third-placed Fenerbahçe have the chance to gain more ground in the Süper Lig title race when they host the leaders on Sunday. Fenerbahçe moved within seven points of Trabzonspor – for whom midfielder Engin Baytar returns after suspension − last weekend when their 1-0 win at Antalyaspor coincided with the Black Sea club failing to take maximum points away at MKE Ankaragücü. Come full time, Fenerbahçe could be four or ten points behind their opponents and coach Aykut Kocaman is aware of what a victory could do for the rest of the league. "We'll play against a very strong team but if we can beat them it will be a new beginning not only for us but for a few other teams."
Kick-off times CET; Greek and Turkish local time is one hour ahead.
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