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Benfica on the brink, Moyes back at Everton

Published: Friday 18 April 2014, 13.30CET
SL Benfica can seal their 33rd Liga title on a weekend when FC Barcelona look to get back on track and David Moyes returns to Goodison Park with Manchester United FC.

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Published: Friday 18 April 2014, 13.30CET

Benfica on the brink, Moyes back at Everton

SL Benfica can seal their 33rd Liga title on a weekend when FC Barcelona look to get back on track and David Moyes returns to Goodison Park with Manchester United FC.

Italy: ACF Fiorentina v AS Roma (Saturday 21.00)
With five matches to go, second-placed Roma are eight points adrift of Serie A leaders Juventus, but a win at Fiorentina would maintain their long-shot chance of a title – mindful that they take on the Bianconeri in early May. "We won't give up," said coach Rudi Garcia, whose side are on a seven-game winning streak and have the division's best defensive record, with only 19 goals conceded.

"I have a lot of time for Garcia because I like how his sides play football," said Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella, who scored 13 goals for the Giallorossi when they lifted their third and most recent Scudetto in 2001. "I hope it will be a spectacular game – and that we are going to win, of course." Fiorentina, in fourth, will beg to differ.

England: Everton FC v Manchester United FC (Sunday 17.10)
David Moyes returns to Everton – where he was manager for 11 years – for the first time as Manchester United boss, with his successor Roberto Martínez still dreaming of UEFA Champions League qualification despite Wednesday's surprise 3-2 home defeat by Crystal Palace FC. That result ended the Blues' seven-match Premier League winning sequence, leaving them a point behind Arsenal FC, current tenants of fourth place, with four to play.

Martínez is staying positive, though: "We have 12 points to play for and I don't think Arsenal will take maximum points from their remaining games." Yet while United are down in seventh, they also boast the division's best away record with ten victories on their travels. It could be a tense afternoon at Goodison Park.

Portugal: SL Benfica v SC Olhanense (Sunday 19.00)
Benfica, seven points clear of second-placed Sporting Clube de Portugal with three matches left, will end FC Porto's three-season hold on the title if they beat the Liga's bottom team Olhanense. They could even wrap up their 33rd Portuguese crown without kicking a ball if Sporting fail to win at neighbours CF Os Belenenses on Saturday.

"At the moment our belief and confidence is high," said Benfica coach Jorge Jesus, whose charges overcame Porto on Wednesday night to get to the Portuguese Cup final. Everything points to a Benfica victory: they have won their last ten top-flight fixtures, scored in 76 consecutive home league games and not conceded at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica in the championship since 6 December.

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Spain: FC Barcelona v Athletic Club (Sunday 21.00)
With their goal of finishing the campaign with Spain's final UEFA Champions League berth, Athletic will "not stop until we are mathematically certain of [ending the season in fourth place]" according to striker Aritz Aduriz, author of nine goals in the Bilbao club's last seven Liga outings.

A trip to reigning champions Barcelona – third, having lost to Granada CF last weekend – will stir memories of the fourth-ranked Leones' 1-0 success over the Catalan outfit earlier this term, but Aduriz is taking nothing for granted against Gerardo Martino's side. "Barcelona play at an incredible level and at the Camp Nou it's so difficult to beat them," the 33-year-old said. Still, Barcelona have lost their last three matches including Wednesday night's Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid CF.

Bulgaria: PFC Levski Sofia v PFC CSKA Sofia (Monday 15.00)
Fifth-placed Levski head into the sixth Eternal derby of the season still in the hunt for a first goal from open play. CSKA, in third, have won all three of the city rivals' three A League meetings this term, while Levski prevailed on penalties following a goalless 210 minutes in the last 16 of the Bulgarian Cup last month. Neither side look likely to challenge for the title, meaning only pride is at stake.

"We made more mistakes in the previous games and we lost," said Levski captain Vladimir Gadzhev, suspended for this fixture. CSKA defender Plamen Krachunov added: "Both teams have strengths and weaknesses. We lost last week [2-0 at Lokomotiv Plovdiv] and now we must bounce back." CSKA are eight points clear of their neighbours.

All times CET

Last updated: 18/04/14 14.58CET

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