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North London derby tops the weekend bill

Published: Friday 30 September 2011, 9.26CET
Emmanuel Adebayor takes on Arsenal FC with his new side in the north London derby and Ole Gunnar Solskjær is on the glory trail with Molde FK as picks out some key ties.

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Published: Friday 30 September 2011, 9.26CET

North London derby tops the weekend bill

Emmanuel Adebayor takes on Arsenal FC with his new side in the north London derby and Ole Gunnar Solskjær is on the glory trail with Molde FK as picks out some key ties.

England: Tottenham Hotspur FC v Arsenal FC (Sunday, 17.00)
Arsenal have won their last three games in all competitions, yet their defensive frailties were all too apparent again in Wednesday's 2-1 UEFA Champions League success against Olympiacos FC. Injuries remain a concern too, but one player relishing Sunday's north London derby is summer signing Per Mertesacker. "This is my first special game for Arsenal," said the centre-back. "There's nothing similar to it in Germany." Former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor is just as excited, his three goals since joining Spurs on loan having helped lift the club to sixth, seven places higher than their neighbours. "If I have a chance to score, trust me I will score," warned the forward.

France: Paris Saint-Germain FC v Olympique Lyonnais (Sunday, 21.00)
As they head into this first v second tie, PSG lead Lyon by virtue of a better fair play record alone, with the sides boasting identical credentials after eight games, including goals scored and against. "They're impressive," said PSG's coach Antoine Kombouaré, rightly wary of visitors who went top of Ligue 1 for the first time in two years earlier this month. "They're a team on a great run in the league and we expect a tough test." Lyon will nonetheless have their work cut out restraining PSG's new golden boy Javier Pastore, who has weighed in with four goals and two assists in his first six league games since his summer move from US Città di Palermo.

Russia: FC Spartak Moskva v FC Zenit St Petersburg (Sunday, 14.15)
Smarting from a 3-0 defeat in St Petersburg earlier this season, the People's Club will look to extend a three-match winning streak when the champions come to Moscow, with winger Aiden McGeady's return to fitness and the form of new forward Emmanuel Emenike all factors favouring Spartak. However, Zenit's 3-1 midweek UEFA Champions League win against FC Porto was a reminder of their class, and, in addition to having first-choice goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev back following a thigh problem, they have scored 19 goals in their last five league games. "Fans love matches like this," said Malafeev. "This is a rivalry of two cities and two clubs. Everyone can expect a brilliant match."

Italy: Juventus v AC Milan (Sunday, 20.45)
Milan registered their first league victory of the season against AC Cesena last Saturday, and followed it up with a first UEFA Champions League win of the campaign against FC Viktoria Plzeň in midweek. Zlatan Ibrahimović marked his return from an ankle injury with a goal against the Czech champions, and said: "I feel good. I just have to keep on working so that I can feel better, maybe even on Sunday." As for Juventus, they have drawn their last two games and are eager to recover momentum. "Against Juve, my old team, it will be an important, tough match," noted Ibrahimović. "It's an away game, but we are going there to win."

Norway: Tromsø IL v Molde FK (Sunday, 20.00)
Whatever happens, it looks like Norway will have first-time champions this season, with Molde enjoying a healthy advantage at the summit and Tromsø their closest rivals ahead of this table-topping tie. Five games will remain after Sunday's match and things are looking very positive for Ole Gunnar Solskjær's side, in the former Manchester United FC striker's first season as a head coach. "We are in a very good position," smiled Molde midfielder Magne Hoseth. "If we win our last six matches, we will win the league. We have the mental strength and the quality in our squad to do that."

All times CET

Last updated: 06/12/13 9.37CET

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