England: Tottenham Hotspur FC v Chelsea FC (Saturday 13.45)
Second hosts fourth in a Premier League London derby on Saturday lunchtime, but there is more at stake than just three points and knocking fellow capital club Arsenal FC off top spot. Bragging rights among fans and managers will also be at the forefront of this fixture with Tottenham boss André Villas-Boas having worked under José Mourinho at FC Porto and then endured a brief stint at the Chelsea helm in 2011/12.
"I learned with José Mourinho, but I'm completely different to him in terms of personality, way of working and communication," said Villas-Boas. "We have different philosophies. Of course, José has been very important in my career – he gave me experience I could not get with anyone else. We have a great professional relationship, but as soon as we parted I started to do things my own way."
Germany: Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Hannover 96 (Saturday 15.30)
Six games into the season, Leverkusen are reprising their role from last term, breathing down the necks of leaders Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München. In Sami Hyypiä's 100th Bundesliga game as player and coach, Leverkusen are chasing a seventh straight home win, but will not have an easy time against fourth-ranked Hannover. Striker Eren Derdiyok said: "Hannover have had a really good season so far, so this is a very important game for us. If we win we will increase the gap, and that must be our incentive."
Mirko Slomka's Hannover are indeed playing well, yet their away record has been mystifyingly poor – they have still to pick up a point away from home this campaign and lost 4-1 at Bayern in the German Cup on Wednesday. The night before, Leverkusen made it to the last 16, prevailing 2-0 at DSC Arminia Bielefeld.
Russia: FC Zenit v FC Spartak Moskva (Saturday 16.30)
Last week Spartak beat champions PFC CSKA Moskva 3-0 in the big Moscow derby; this weekend they take on the side with whom they share top spot in the Premier-Liga. Both Spartak and Zenit are unbeaten in their last four league outings. If the derby victory sent Spartak spirits soaring, Zenit have perhaps looked even more impressive of late, winning all but one of their home matches this season – a draw with FC Kuban Krasnodar in July denying them a 100% record.
"This type of match means war for players – and party time for the fans if their team win," said Zenit midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk. "These kinds of matches are always nice to watch and to take part in. We will prepare well and do everything we can to beat Spartak."
Czech Republic: SK Slavia Praha v AC Sparta Praha (Saturday 20.15)
With eight victories from nine First League games in 2013/14, pacesetters Sparta are heavily fancied to triumph in the 280th edition of this famous derby. A goalless draw at FC Viktoria Plzeň on 17 August represents Sparta's only dropped points of the campaign. In contrast, their rivals' four winless matches at home this term include 7-0 and 4-0 humblings by FK Teplice and FK Mladá Boleslav respectively, after which Miroslav Koubek took over as coach of the second-from-bottom outfit.
"We know we are not favourites, but we are going to fight as a team," said Slavia captain Karol Kisel. "Such a game may turn things around." The fixture also serves as a tribute to legendary Slavia forward Josef Bican, whose 100th birthday would have been on Wednesday.
Spain: Real Madrid CF v Club Atlético de Madrid (Saturday 22.00)
Diego Simeone's side spectacularly ended a 14-year wait for a derby victory over Real Madrid with May's extra-time Copa del Rey final triumph at the Santiago Bernabéu. With their perfect Liga record still intact this term, the Rojiblancos will be striving to get one over the third-placed Merengues in what visiting goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois calls "another final".
"We've got a great team and we know how to beat Madrid," the Belgian international said. "As a player, you never go out looking for a draw – you always play to win. I think we can maintain the level we are currently at, as the team continues to be good no matter who plays."
Italy: Torino FC v Juventus (Sunday 12.30)
Juventus go into the Derby della Mole on a roll after successive 2-1 comeback wins, against Hellas Verona FC and AC Chievo Verona. However, some alarm bells are ringing for the Bianconeri, given they have conceded first in their last four games in all competitions. Coach Antonio Conte needs to finetune Juve's defensive line for the Torino clash amid rumours of a major reshuffle – with Leonardo Bonucci possibly returning to the rearguard and Sebastian Giovinco ready for his first start of the campaign.
Torino coach Giampiero Ventura, meanwhile, knows what his charges are up against but is not ruling out an upset. "We are a young team and we need to improve," said the 65-year-old. "But the lads are eager to learn on the pitch and I'm sure we can beat anyone if we play to our potential."
All times CET
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