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Dortmund and Bayern serve up final taster

Published: Friday 3 May 2013, 14.44CET
All eyes will be on Germany as Borussia Dortmund host FC Bayern München in a dry run of the UEFA Champions League final while local pride is at stake in Liverpool this weekend.

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Published: Friday 3 May 2013, 14.44CET

Dortmund and Bayern serve up final taster

All eyes will be on Germany as Borussia Dortmund host FC Bayern München in a dry run of the UEFA Champions League final while local pride is at stake in Liverpool this weekend.

Russia: FC Anji Makhachkala v FC Rubin Kazan (Saturday 16.00)
The top two of PFC CSKA Moskva and FC Zenit St Petersburg are out of sight in Russia, but the teams behind are bunched up as they contest the UEFA Europa League berths – and this fixture could be decisive. Anji are third but stuttering alarmingly with one win in eight, while Rubin in fifth are marching up the standings. Last weekend's 2-0 triumph over CSKA extended their unbeaten Premier League start to 2013 to seven matches.

Victory on Saturday would take them level with Anji, who will be without suspended goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov. Rubin No1 Sergei Ryzhikov will play, however, and after a promising debut from defensive midfielder Yann M'Vila last weekend, Ryzhikov is buoyant. "It's easier to play the leading sides than battle against teams occupying the lower places," he said.

Germany: Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern München (Saturday 18.30)
Days after booking their tickets to the UEFA Champions League final, Dortmund and Bayern meet in the Bundesliga. Jürgen Klopp's men lie second, 20 points behind their guests, and have long since ensured they will participate in the group stage of Europe's premier club competition next term. Both teams are likely to rotate their squads, with this game looking the perfect stage for Dortmund's Leonardo Bittencourt, 19, and Bayern midfielder Pierre Højbjerg, 17, to further their burgeoning reputations.

Klopp, speaking after Tuesday's 2-0 semi-final second-leg loss at Real Madrid CF, said: "We have several battered and bruised players, so we'll switch things around. Bayern might give us a real spanking, but it will be the happiest defeat against them that the Bundesliga has ever seen and we'll accept that."

Ukraine: FC Metalist Kharkiv v FC Dynamo Kyiv (Saturday 18.30)
Trailing their second-placed visitors on goal difference, Metalist have the weight of history against them as they bid to make a potentially decisive break in the race for Ukraine's final UEFA Champions League berth. Metalist, who won 3-1 in Kyiv when the sides met on 20 October, have not beaten the capital club at home in the Premier League in 21 years. Their last draw with the Bilo-Syni in Kharkiv was a 2-2 stalemate in 2007/08, and they have conceded at least two goals in every top-flight fixture against Dynamo on their own patch since 2001/02.

Both teams are in great form, however. Dynamo have six victories in eight games this spring and have not shipped a single away goal in that run, while Myron Markevich's men have won ten times in a 12-match unbeaten league sequence. "I've said to my players that everything is in their hands," said Markevich. "If they want to play in the UEFA Champions League, they have to win their four remaining games."

Portugal: CD Nacional v FC Porto (Saturday 21.30)
The Portuguese Liga is reaching a critical stage, with SL Benfica four points clear of Porto with three matches left. The two great rivals are still unbeaten and although they meet on 12 May, the prospect is very real that both could end the campaign without a loss. For Porto, that would mean matching their feat when they were champions in 2010/11, while Benfica finished without defeat in 1972/73 and 1977/78, though as runners-up to Porto in the latter season.

Porto can ill afford to lose a game if they hope to pip Benfica to the title, but they face a tough trip to ninth-placed Nacional before welcoming the leaders, who host GD Estoril-Praia on Monday. "Nacional are very difficult opponents and they are very dangerous on the attack, but we want the three points," said Porto coach Vítor Pereira.

England: Liverpool FC v Everton FC (Sunday 14.30)
Two men in particular will be desperate to win this 220th Merseyside derby. David Moyes has never tasted victory at Anfield in 11 years as Everton manager, the Blues having last prevailed there in 1999. Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, meanwhile, retires this summer and would love to beat his boyhood team one last time.

The wider context is that sixth-placed Everton – five points above their neighbours – still have European ambitions. Midfielder Leon Osman said: "We're on the coat-tails of the teams above and trying to win for that reason as well." Liverpool, in seventh, simply want to avoid finishing behind the Goodison club for a second straight season.

Italy: SSC Napoli v FC Internazionale Milano (Sunday 20.45)
Juventus need a point at home to US Città di Palermo on Sunday afternoon to clinch the championship. A few hours later, Napoli entertain struggling FC Internazionale Milano as they try to cement their position in second. With four fixtures remaining, the Partenopei are seven and eight points above AC Milan and ACF Fiorentina respectively. "Juve were simply phenomenal this season but we have also done well," said midfielder Marek Hamšík. "However, second place is not ours yet – we need six more points."

Seventh-placed Inter continue to struggle with injuries – captain Javier Zanetti the latest casualty – but still hope to qualify for the UEFA Europa League. "It's still possible and we are going to fight for it," said defender Andrea Ranocchia.

Last updated: 04/12/13 5.31CET