England: Everton FC v Liverpool FC (Saturday 13.45)
With 27 league titles between its clubs – Liverpool with 18 and Everton with 9 – Liverpool remains England's most successful footballing city, ahead of Manchester (23) and London (19). The Mersey rivals enter Saturday's 221st derby at Goodison Park in good health, with the Reds second, three points above the sixth-placed Blues. Brendan Rodgers' team have been fired by the goals of Luis Suárez and Daniel Sturridge while Everton have suffered just one top-flight defeat under Roberto Martínez.
Both are former Swansea City AFC managers and Rodgers' derby-day message to his neighbour is: "It's a unique city with real passion and intensity. Goodison was a very hostile environment last season." The Spaniard's response: "It's quite unique as a game, I'm really excited."
Russia: PFC CSKA Moskva v FC Spartak Moskva (Saturday 14.00)
Valeri Karpin's side will be high on confidence following an eye-catching 4-2 defeat of FC Zenit a fortnight ago that took them to within three points of the leaders. Armenia striker Yura Movsisyan was the star of the show, registering a 15-minute treble, but remains a doubt for the derby with a knee injury. The Army Men, meanwhile, are three points further back in fourth after arresting an erratic run of form with three consecutive Premier-Liga victories. "There's no need to remind anyone what the derby means to the supporters," said captain Igor Akinfeev.
Germany: Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern München (Saturday 18.30)
Mario Götze has dominated the agenda in the build-up to a re-run of last season's UEFA Champions League showpiece. "It will be the most difficult moment of my career," said the 21-year-old Germany schemer, who switched allegiances in the summer. Josep Guardiola's unbeaten side have the momentum, meanwhile, having stridden four points clear of Dortmund at the summit by posting ten wins from their opening 12 fixtures. "It will be a tough game but we can approach it in relaxed mood knowing we can't be replaced at the top," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Greece: PAOK FC v Aris Thessaloniki FC (Sunday 18.30)
Aris must make light of their league position to upset Huub Stevens's charges. Indeed, they visit their city rivals sitting second from bottom, having won just twice this term. By contrast, the second-placed hosts are six points shy of the Super League summit and boast a favourable head-to-head record, prevailing 48 times to Aris' 31. Aris coach Zoran Milinković is nonetheless in optimistic mood. "It's a very important match," he said. "I have great faith in my players. They have to show their passion and give everything."
Spain: Sevilla FC v Real Betis Balompié (Sunday 21.00)
Although both sides are flying high in their respective UEFA Europa League sections, results on the domestic front need to improve, particularly for bottom-placed Betis, who return to the scene of last season's 5-1 drubbing. "There are more than just three points at stake," Verdiblanco forward Rubén Castro explained. "We need to go at them from the off while also being focused so as not to make the same mistakes as last year." Betis have lost five league games since their last top-flight win, 1-0 against Villarreal CF in September, while Unai Emery's charges will be buoyed by a 3-1 victory at RCD Espanyol last time out.
France: FC Nantes v AS Monaco FC (Sunday 21.00)
Nantes last hosted Monaco back in March when the sides were battling for the Ligue 2 title; now they are at the top end of Ligue 1, fourth and third respectively. Monaco's ascent is no great shock given the level of investment at the club, but the fact that Nantes are within three points of the Principality outfit is a major surprise, though coach Michel Der Zakarian is focusing on survival rather than European places for the moment.
"The main goal is to get 42 points as soon as possible to remain in the top flight, then we'll see what we can aim for," he said. "We have to keep our feet on the ground and try to get better and better."
All times CET
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