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Big Bayern encounter tops weekend bill

Published: Friday 18 November 2011, 10.11CET
Derby games in Bruges and Vienna, a massive test for FC Bayern München and a grudge match in Spain are among the weekend highlights, as picks out some key league fixtures.

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Published: Friday 18 November 2011, 10.11CET

Big Bayern encounter tops weekend bill

Derby games in Bruges and Vienna, a massive test for FC Bayern München and a grudge match in Spain are among the weekend highlights, as picks out some key league fixtures.

Austria: FC Admira/Wacker Mödling v FK Austria Wien (Saturday, 18.30)
Admira only returned to the Bundesliga last season but have bounced back with a vengeance, and are four points clear of second-ranked Austria going into this meeting, regarded as a Derby even though Modling is technically outside the Viennese city limits. Without a win in four league games, Austria can take hope from the fact that they have not lost in their last ten games at the Bundesstadion Südstadt, winning nine of them. Admira, meanwhile, are looking to end a run of two draws, with coach Dietmar Kühbauer explaining: "We are playing well at the back, but we don't score goals up front. This is the sad thing at the moment. We have to show more determination. We will work hard on this."

Germany: FC Bayern München v Borussia Dortmund (Saturday, 18.30)
The top two in Germany meet with champions Dortmund finally looking like a side capable of stopping Bayern in their tracks, having gone unbeaten through their last six league games. Jürgen Klopp's side won at Bayern last season, and a repeat performance would bring them to within two points of the league leaders. "We know we can hold our own there, especially with our self-confidence having been boosted lately," said Dortmund skipper Sebastian Kehl. Arjen Robben may be back in the Bayern squad after a long struggle with injury. Bastian Schweinsteiger, ruled out with a shoulder injury, said: "Dortmund are our biggest rivals. It will be tight, but we just have to try to rely on our quality. If we do, even Dortmund will find it difficult to stop us."

Greece: Olympiacos FC v Panathinaikos FC (Saturday, 18.30)
The Super League leaders visit the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium two points clear of their second-placed hosts and boasting the in-form Sebastián Leto in attack. Before this season, Leto had mustered just eight goals in 67 Super League matches in spells with both sides, yet the 25-year-old midfielder has already scored ten in the current campaign. Indeed the Argentinian winger has scored in all seven league matches he has played for Panathinaikos. "I love scoring in every match but it's more important to see our team top the standings," he said. Olympiacos, meanwhile, hope Rafik Djebbour and Kevin Mirallas can add to the ten league goals they have managed between them this term against Panathinaikos's 17-year-old Greek international goalkeeper Stefanos Kapino.

Italy: SSC Napoli v S.S. Lazio (Saturday, 20.45)
Napoli are preparing for an endurance test which will see them play four games in ten days, starting with this one against Serie A leaders Lazio. "I think there are no less than six teams who can go all the way this term," said coach Walter Mazzarri. "Napoli and Lazio are among them, so this is a key game for us and we will only start thinking about [the UEFA Champions League game against] Manchester City on Sunday." Lazio midfielder Cristian Brocchi feels positive about his side's prospects too. "There is more confidence in the team this year," he said. "The atmosphere will be fiery in Naples, but we are top of the table and we want to stay there as long as we can."

Spain: Valencia CF v Real Madrid CF (Saturday, 22.00)
Roberto Soldado featured in his team's 6-3 defeat at Madrid last term, and the striker said Valencia were "keen on taking revenge" on the current Liga leaders. With José Mourinho's side on a run of ten straight victories in all competitions, the former Madrid man knows Unai Emery's third-placed team must "play the perfect game to take all three points". Soldado – who has registered 20 goals in his last 24 outings for his club – added: "It's going to be an intense game and the sort of result we saw last term cannot be repeated because we are a better side now."

England: Chelsea FC v Liverpool FC (Sunday, 17.00)
Chelsea and Liverpool might have expected better than fourth and sixth place respectively at this stage, but in their first full seasons under new managers, both look like works in progress. André Villas-Boas has brought a more open style to Stamford Bridge, and his side have conceded 15 times this season – as many as they did in Mourinho's entire first campaign in 2004/05. The Reds are on an eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions, but Kenny Dalglish has been frustrated by their inability to convert a flood of opportunities into goals. "Eventually they'll do it and somebody is going to get battered one day," the Scot said. "The sooner the better for us."

Belgium: Club Brugge KV v Cercle Brugge KSV (Sunday, 20.30)
Third-ranked Cercle find themselves in the happy position of being four points and one league place clear of their traditional rivals ahead of the Bruges derby, with Bob Peeters' side underlining their unexpected title credentials with a win against league leaders RSC Anderlecht a fortnight ago. Beaten just once in the league this season, Cercle have unearthed a star in six-goal Portuguese striker Rudy, while UEFA Europa League contenders Club Brugge saw Christoph Daum replace Adrie Koster as coach on 9 November after summer spending failed to bring league results. "My goal is to bring Club Brugge back to the top level in Europe, but of course we first have to prove ourselves in Belgium," the 58-year-old Daum said.

All times are CET

Last updated: 06/12/13 6.04CET