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Top-of-the-table games lead weekend bill

Published: Friday 29 March 2013, 8.31CET
First plays second in the Czech Republic and Cyprus while Juventus and Club Atlético de Madrid embark on revenge missions. previews the weekend action.

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Published: Friday 29 March 2013, 8.31CET

Top-of-the-table games lead weekend bill

First plays second in the Czech Republic and Cyprus while Juventus and Club Atlético de Madrid embark on revenge missions. previews the weekend action.

Italy: FC Internazionale Milano v Juventus (Saturday 15.00)
With a nine-point advantage over second-placed SSC Napoli, and a UEFA Champions League quarter-final at FC Bayern München looming on Tuesday, Juventus coach Antonio Conte could be forgiven for focusing elsewhere. The Nerazzurri, though, consigned Juve to their first league loss in 49 games in November and the Serie A leaders are sure to be seeking revenge.

"We will face a team that is improving," said Bianconeri striker Fabio Quagliarella. "I think they're in good shape and this will be another big game for us." Inter boss Andrea Stramaccioni, meanwhile, intends to celebrate in style after a year in charge. "This is absolutely not a game like any other, we really feel it," he said. "We will work a lot this week and we'll be ready to play in front of a full house at San Siro." Stramaccioni's men lie seventh in the table, four points off ACF Fiorentina in fourth.

Poland: KSP Polonia Warszawa v Legia Warszawa (Saturday 18.00)
Though Legia are the Ekstraklasa leaders, neighbours Polonia are only eight points adrift in joint-third position. This game will be especially significant for Georgia striker Vladimir Dvalishvili, who in winter swapped Saturday's hosts for their visitors. "It was the first time in my life I changed club without changing city," Dvalishvili told "If I score against Polonia, I will not celebrate because I would like to show respect to my former club.

"I started my Polish career at Polonia. I played well there but Legia is a big challenge. This club have not won the title for seven years so there is a hunger to do so." Legia coach Jan Urban leads his side for the 100th time.

Czech Republic: AC Sparta Praha v FC Viktoria Plzeň (Saturday 20.15)
Czech First League leaders Plzeň have a three-point advantage over second-placed Sparta at the summit. Both teams have also enjoyed successful UEFA Europa League campaigns this season but attention turns back to domestic matters this weekend.

Sparta, beaten once in all competitions since 29 September, have invited fans to attend a pre-match training session and will play supporters' messages on big screens during the game. "It is an important fixture but it will not be decisive, there are plenty more points to be played for," said Plzeň captain Pavel Horváth.

©AFP/Getty Images

Atlético coach Diego Simeone

Spain: Club Atlético de Madrid v Valencia CF (Sunday 21.00)
Although the third-ranked Rojiblancos hold a 15-point cushion over Valencia in fifth, coach Diego Simeone is wary of opponents who, he claims, "have designs on being where we are now".

Sunday's visitors to the Vicente Calderón were responsible for inflicting a first Liga defeat of the campaign on Atlético in November, a result that ended the capital club's run of 13 straight wins on all fronts. "Valencia have one of the best squads in the Liga and they play very well," said Simeone. "I'm sure we will see an entertaining game."

France: OGC Nice v Olympique de Marseille (Sunday 14.00)
With both sides in the top five in Ligue 1, a promising encounter is in store in south-east France. Victory for Nice would draw them level on points with their third-placed guests and right into contention for a UEFA Champions League qualifying berth.

"This Nice-Marseille game has the taste of a big match," said Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivère. "It is important in terms of points as we want to remain at the top for as long as possible." OM are certain to have their work cut out against a Nice outfit who have conceded only seven goals in their last ten league fixtures.

Cyprus: Anorthosis Famagusta FC v APOEL FC (Sunday 15.00)
APOEL coach Ivan Jovanović and his players are determined to concentrate on Sunday's key game despite the backdrop of economic problems in Cyprus. First Division leaders APOEL are just three points clear of Anorthosis, in second, with seven games to go, in what appears to be a two-horse race for the title.

"The only thing we can do is play football regardless of what is happening off the pitch," said Jovanović. "I have spoken to my players about the situation but we have a goal to meet and we must achieve it despite everything that's happening around us."

All times CET

Last updated: 08/12/17 10.17CET