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Chelsea and City eager to make amends

Published: Friday 23 November 2012, 12.30CET
England's fallen giants will look to vent their frustrations on each other, with Greece, the Netherlands and Germany other ports of call on our guided tour of the weekend schedule.

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Published: Friday 23 November 2012, 12.30CET

Chelsea and City eager to make amends

England's fallen giants will look to vent their frustrations on each other, with Greece, the Netherlands and Germany other ports of call on our guided tour of the weekend schedule.

Germany: FC Schalke 04 v Eintracht Frankfurt (Saturday 15.30)
With just over a third of the Bundesliga season played, surprise package Eintracht are still defying gravity, having earned as many points as second-placed Schalke – who made it to the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League this week. "You can definitely say this is a top match," said promoted Eintracht's coach Armin Veh. His side head for Gelsenkirchen holding third place in the table, behind Schalke on goal difference. "It's not like it's matchday two – 12 matches have been played already this season." Veh's players seem to be believing in themselves too. "We are going to Schalke to win," said goalkeeper Kevin Trapp. "We want to enjoy the moment, but maybe things will carry on the way they are."

Cyprus: AEK Larnaca FC v Anorthosis Famagusta FC (Saturday 17.00)
Anorthosis top the Cypriot First Division and are one of two teams – along with fourth-ranked AEL Limassol FC – still unbeaten after ten games. Their next test is a big one, though, with Rony Levy's men up against another club coached by an Israeli, Ran Ben Shimon's AEK. The coaches' four previous meetings have ended in three wins for Levy and a draw, but with AEK causing a major stir in second place, having won 2-1 at APOEL FC last weekend, they have cause for confidence. "This AEK side can make history," said midfielder Kyriakos Pavlou. "We are not just a fireworks show. The game against Anorthosis will be even bigger than the one against APOEL. Our aim is the top four and anything extra is a bonus."

Netherlands: PSV Eindhoven v Vitesse (Sunday 14.30)
Dutch league pacesetters PSV are in fine shape, having scored 15 in their last three Eredivisie outings. Hearteningly, they are sharing the goals around – Dick Advocaat's charges are averaging 3.69 per game, though none of their strikers has scored more than seven. Vitesse, by contrast, owe much to the finishing of Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Bony, whose 14 strikes in 13 appearances represent over half of the Arnhem side's haul of 25 this term. "It is good to know we can always play the ball to Bony," said captain Guram Kashia. "PSV score a lot of goals, but we have beaten Ajax and Feyenoord and drawn with Twente. I reckon we will score at PSV, so there is certainly something possible there."

England: Chelsea FC v Manchester City FC (Sunday 17.00)
Some thought Rafael Benítez an odd choice to replace Roberto Di Matteo, who was fired by Chelsea on Wednesday morning, but the new manager is not concerned. "The fans always want the same thing from the manager: to win games," said the Spaniard, 52, who will hope to get the best out of his one-time Liverpool FC protege Fernando Torres. Benítez has his doubters, but – after his squad exited the UEFA Champions League in midweek – so too does City boss Roberto Mancini, even if his unbeaten title holders top the Premier League. "In the Premier League you have many games to recover, in the Champions League, you don’t," Mancini said after Wednesday's fateful 1-1 draw with Real Madrid CF.

Greece: PAOK FC v Olympiacos FC (Sunday 18.30)
Having matched the best ever start to a Greek professional league season – Panathinaikos FC's ten wins and a draw at the beginning of 1994/95 – Olympiacos are targeting their own all-time record from 1966/67, when the Piraeus club won their first 11 games and drew the 12th. Victory at PAOK would also make up for missing out on the UEFA Champions League round of 16, with winger Djamel Abdoun stressing: "Our top priority now is the Greek league. We have a tough encounter against PAOK in a very lively atmosphere." Olympiacos lead second-ranked PAOK by eight points, and the Salonika outfit's midfielder Dimitris Pelkas said: "Victory would be a huge psychological boost, but we need to show passion and incredible focus to get it."

Portugal: SC Braga v FC Porto (Sunday 21.15)
With a six-point gap between the teams, third-placed Braga are on a run of three defeats in four matches in all competitions as they host undefeated leaders Porto. Tuesday's 3-1 loss at CFR 1907 Cluj ended the Arsenalistas' European hopes for the campaign; by contrast Porto are on a high, having qualified for the UEFA Champions League knockout phase with the current highest points tally of 13. Yet to lose in 17 matches this season on all fronts, Porto's overall record for 2012/13 reads W14 D3 L0 F38 A8. "I can only be happy," said coach Vítor Pereira. However, on-song midfielder João Moutinho added a note of caution: "Braga are a great team. They are at home and we will have a tough time."

All times CET

Last updated: 04/12/13 19.02CET