Germany: FC Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund (Saturday 15.30)
After mixed results for these two teams against London clubs on Tuesday – Schalke lost at home to Chelsea FC while Dortmund won at Arsenal FC – it is time for the 143rd 'Revierderby'. Despite being the visitors, Dortmund are considered slight favourites, especially as Schalke are without the injured Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Jefferson Farfán. Schalke coach Jens Keller is not too worried, however. "There were doubts last year as well, but we still managed to beat them twice," he said. "This derby has its own rules, but we are aware that Dortmund are at full strength and they have enormous quality." Dortmund's coach Jürgen Klopp declared: "We can promise nothing except for maximum effort."
Spain: FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF (Saturday 18.00)
Liga leaders Barcelona face the team defender Carles Puyol describes as their "maximum rivals", third-placed Madrid. "We are talking about two of the biggest teams in the world and everyone wants to play a part in it," the 35-year-old explained. Carlo Ancelotti's side have lost in just two of their last eight visits to the Camp Nou in all competitions and their improving form this season led to Puyol urging caution. "In the past few years they have done well here and they are getting better as the season progresses," the Spanish international said. "We will have to be at our best and be watchful of their counterattacks. They are a very quick team."
England: Chelsea FC v Manchester City FC (Sunday 17.00)
Despite Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC's fine starts, second-placed Chelsea and City, in fourth, are considered the chief pretenders to struggling Manchester United FC's crown. Much, then, will be at stake when José Mourinho faces Manuel Pellegrini little more than five months after Real Madrid CF defeated Málaga CF 6-2 toward the end of their respective Liga spells. Both teams posted vital UEFA Champions League successes in midweek and Fernando Torres, fresh from his two goals against Schalke, is hungry for more. "I'm feeling good," said Torres. "Hopefully it's the start of many games in a row scoring goals."
France: AS Monaco FC v Olympique Lyonnais (Sunday 17.00)
A 2-2 draw at lowly FC Sochaux-Montbéliard last time out cost Monaco top spot and they now trail Paris Saint-Germain FC by two points. Boasting no league wins against 11th-ranked Lyon since 2007, Monaco will be anxious to end that run, with their visitors weakened by absent players and having played HNK Rijeka in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday. "The aim is to win all games," Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri explained, while the league's assist leader James Rodríguez has not changed his mind about his new side. "Our aim is to be champions," he said. "So far, so good. We can do it."
Belgium: RSC Anderlecht v R. Standard de Liège (Sunday 18.00)
Leaders Standard visit the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium on Sunday holding a seven-point lead over their fifth-placed hosts. They made a flying start under Guy Luzon by recording nine consecutive wins, but a defeat and a draw in their last matches has allowed Club Brugge KV to close the gap to two points. Still, Anderlecht have struggled themselves, not least in Wednesday's 5-0 home defeat by Paris Saint-Germain FC. Coach John van den Brom said: "We need to get over that blow fast. Luckily the next game is a top match against Standard, so you don't need too much work to get the players ready. They will be stimulated enough."
Portugal: FC Porto v Sporting Clube de Portugal (Sunday 20.45)
This is the biggest meeting between these clubs for some time given that leaders Porto lie two points ahead of second-placed Sporting, the only other unbeaten teams left in the Liga. After Porto's home loss to FC Zenit in midweek, coach Paulo Fonseca commented: "Fragile against Sporting? After the proof of character we gave against Zenit [playing 84 minutes with ten players following Hector Herrera's dismissal] that won't happen for sure." As for the Lions, they have been playing an eye-catching and free-scoring brand of football and boast the most prolific attack with 19 goals. Argentina defender Marcos Rojo said: "We go there to win. We are on track and we don't have to fear anyone."
All times CET
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