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Barça chase record as Torres faces Liverpool

Published: Friday 4 February 2011, 9.10CET
UEFA.com's pick of the weekend's top domestic games comprises a potential Liga record for leaders FC Barcelona and Fernando Torres being quickly reacquainted with his former club.
Barça chase record as Torres faces Liverpool
Barcelona are in incredible form ©Getty Images

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Published: Friday 4 February 2011, 9.10CET

Barça chase record as Torres faces Liverpool

UEFA.com's pick of the weekend's top domestic games comprises a potential Liga record for leaders FC Barcelona and Fernando Torres being quickly reacquainted with his former club.

A Liga record awaits FC Barcelona, Fernando Torres will be out to put one over his former team-mates and the Swiss season resumes from its winter break with a meeting of two title contenders. Follow all the weekend scores from across Europe with UEFA.com's MatchCentre.

Switzerland: FC Zürich v FC Luzern (Saturday, 17.45)
The second half of the Swiss season kicks off in explosive fashion as third-placed Zürich host surprise leaders Luzern. The match is expected to determine the side that will provide the main challenge to champions FC Basel 1893, who sit in between the two clubs but are considered favourites for the title. "We need to be there if Basel slip up," said Zürich sporting director Fredy Bickel, while coach Urs Fischer added: "Right off the bat we want to show that we plan on staying up there until the end." A point ahead of Basel and two above Zürich, the Luzern approach is quite different. "If possible we'd like to get a result, but we will play the situation as it comes," said coach Rolf Fringer.

Spain: FC Barcelona v Club Atlético de Madrid (Saturday, 22.00)
An Atlético team that have mustered a solitary win in eight outings is all that stands between Barcelona and a record 16th successive Liga victory, but Javier Mascherano is taking nothing for granted. "The big teams – and Atlético are in that bracket – are far more dangerous when they are hurting," said the midfielder. "They have some great players and are the reigning UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup champions. There is no way we will underestimate them." Real Madrid CF, who won 15 in a row in 1960/61, host Real Sociedad de Fútbol on Sunday.

Germany: Hamburger SV v FC St Pauli (Sunday, 15.30)
Two 1-0 wins at the beginning of 2011 had reignited Hamburg's European ambitions, but a 2-0 loss at 1. FC Nürnberg last week has left them desperate for a victory in the derby against St Pauli. "It's the most important game we have," HSV coach Armin Veh said. "If you're not up for this, you shouldn't be here." Midfielder Davíd Jarolím added: "The derby is very special, you cannot compare it to others, but there is no doubt who is No1. We've been on the European stage whereas St Pauli aren't well known." The city's second side, St Pauli have performed well on their return to the Bundesliga, but lie 14th and are still not out of trouble. Coach Holger Stanislawski said: "Everything is more intense. We know we're the outsiders but we are not afraid. We will not lose."

England: Chelsea FC v Liverpool FC (Sunday, 17.00)
Chelsea have rallied from their worst run of results in 15 years. Lying fourth in the table, the Blues have won their last three Premier League matches and, despite racking up ten goals in the process, have added striker Fernando Torres to their ranks, from Liverpool, in a British-record €57.5m deal. The striker, who is expected to make his debut against his former employers, said: "I will do my best for Chelsea and, hopefully, I can score." The Reds − with three successive league wins themselves − will hope their signing from AFC Ajax, Luis Suárez, can outshine his predecessor.

Italy: FC Internazionale Milano v AS Roma (Sunday, 20.45)
Seven points behind leaders AC Milan with a game in hand, FC Internazionale Milano hope to continue their revival under Leonardo when they host fifth-placed AS Roma at San Siro. The Nerazzurri have won six of their seven games in Serie A since the Brazilian took charge, while new signing Giampaolo Pazzini is proving to be an astute addition having scored three goals in two matches following his move from UC Sampdoria. Leonardo said: "It's way too early to look at the distance between us and Milan; we must only keep on playing as we are doing now." That is an opinion shared by Roma captain Francesco Totti, who added: "It will be a very important game for us. We are nine points behind Milan but we have a game in hand and the season is still very long. There is enough time for Inter and Roma to recover and fight for the title."

France: Olympique Lyonnais v FC Girondins de Bordeaux (Sunday, 21.00)
A couple of seasons ago this was the match upon which the destination of the Ligue 1 trophy could hinge. With Bordeaux lying eighth the stakes are not quite as high now, but they could still have a major bearing on who wins the title – and their own ambitions are not completely over either. A repeat of last season's 1-0 win at Stade de Gerland would put a major dent in third-placed Lyon's ambitions ahead of a pivotal month for the club at home and in Europe, where Real Madrid await.

All kick-off times are CET.

Last updated: 05/02/11 11.45CET

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