The official website for European football

Arsenal, Napoli, Lyon, Leverkusen test credentials

Published: Friday 15 April 2011, 10.32CET
Title challengers Arsenal FC, SSC Napoli, Olympique Lyonnais and Bayer 04 Leverkusen have tough games while there are crucial fixtures in Romania and Serbia in our weekend preview.

rate galleryrate photo
  • loading... features

Make your bid in the Match for Solidarity digital auction!
  • Make your bid in the Match for Solidarity digital auction!
  • Inter back for more
  • Eyes on the prize
  • Ofenbach to perform at UEFA Europa League final
  • Financial fair play and club licensing review
  • UEFA supports Play True Day - keeping sport free of doping
  • The importance of image
  • Take-home messages from the Netherlands
  • Football – a universal language? – UEFA Direct 175 out now
  • 'Football makes me happy' – Nadia Nadim
1 of 10
Published: Friday 15 April 2011, 10.32CET

Arsenal, Napoli, Lyon, Leverkusen test credentials

Title challengers Arsenal FC, SSC Napoli, Olympique Lyonnais and Bayer 04 Leverkusen have tough games while there are crucial fixtures in Romania and Serbia in our weekend preview.

Arsenal FC, SSC Napoli, Olympique Lyonnais and Bayer 04 Leverkusen have tough tests of their title credentials this weekend when there are also crucial fixtures in Romania and Serbia. Follow the scores from all the European leagues live on's MatchCentre.

England: Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC (Sunday, 17.00)
Premier League leaders Manchester United FC face Manchester City FC in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, and the following afternoon second-placed Arsenal can close the gap to four points when they play their game in hand against a Liverpool side in sixth still hankering after European qualification. While Arsenal look set to continue with 41-year-old keeper Jens Lehmann after Manuel Almunia's warm-up injury last weekend, Andy Carroll will aim to continue the form that brought him his first two Liverpool goals in Monday's 3-0 defeat of City. Carroll scored in former club Newcastle United FC's 1-0 win at Arsenal in November and said: "There's no reason Liverpool can't win there and all the lads are confident."

France: Paris Saint-Germain FC v Olympique Lyonnais (Sunday, 21.00)
With eight rounds of Ligue 1 action to go, third-placed Lyon are only five points behind leaders LOSC Lille Métropole, yet also hover just four above PSG in fifth. The capital club are understandably keen to snatch at least that third UEFA Champions League berth, with PSG defender Mamadou Sakho calling Lyon's visit a "key game". And although both teams won convincingly last weekend, Lyon centre-back Dejan Lovren admits: "We're under more pressure than them. However, we are strong enough to bring back the points."

Italy: SSC Napoli v Udinese Calcio (Sunday, 20.30)
Second-placed Napoli sit three points behind leaders AC Milan with six games to play and the visit of Udinese is an important step in their bid for a first Scudetto since 1990. "We have it in our hands to achieve something extraordinary," said midfielder Hassan Yebda. "A victory against Udinese will be a crucial step towards UEFA Champions League qualification. I think we are more hungry than Milan because we are not as used to fighting for titles." Coach Walter Mazzarri will recover Serie A top scorer Edinson Cavani from suspension, while Udinese in fifth, now a point behind S.S. Lazio after two straight defeats, have forward Alexis Sánchez in doubt with a thigh injury.

Germany: FC Bayern München v Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Sunday, 15.30)
Andries Jonker starts his five-game tenure as Bayern's caretaker coach with a crucial match. Louis van Gaal left the club ahead of schedule last Sunday after Bayern dropped out of the third UEFA Champions League qualifying spot, falling behind Hannover 96, so victory is desperately needed against opponents who narrowed Borussia Dortmund's lead to five points last weekend. "It is our duty to regain third place and play in the Champions League next season," said Bayern captain Philipp Lahm. "[In recent months] we have been very attack-minded. We have played risky attacking football. That is why we have made mistakes, and we have to change that."

Romania: FC Oţelul Galaţi v FC Dinamo Bucureşti (Saturday, 13.00)
Oţelul have set the pace all season but their 1-0 loss at FC Steaua Bucureşti on Wednesday enabled unbeaten FC Timişoara to snatch top spot on goal difference. With FC Vaslui also just four points behind the leading pair, the pressure is on perennial also-rans Oţelul, who have never finished in the top three or won a major trophy. Coach Dorinel Munteanu said after the Steaua defeat: "I am very upset. It is obvious we have so much work ahead of us." Fourth-placed Dinamo are nine points back and in the Romanian Cup semi-finals, yet the 18-time champions expect more and coach Ioan Andone said: "Because of us, our fans don't come to the stadium any more. We owe them and we have to win in Galati."

Serbia: FK Partizan v FK Vojvodina (Saturday, 19.00)
As with Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona, so Partizan and Vojvodina meet in a top-of-the-table encounter on Saturday prior to their Serbian Cup final on 11 May. Vojvodina are third, six points behind Partizan and three short of FK Crvena Zvezda, yet they are the form team with eight straight wins since the winter break, including six in the Super League. Zoran Milinković's side are also the only club to have inflicted a league defeat on Partizan this season, 2-0 in Novi Sad on 3 October, one of 14 clean sheets in 21 fixtures. After some recent stumbles, Partizan coach Aleksandar Stanojević said: "We are in crisis, we've played badly in the last few games and it is true that we have some problems, but I am an optimist and believe we can get it right."

All times CET. England is one hour behind, Romania one hour ahead

Last updated: 07/12/13 4.44CET

Related information

Team profiles