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Champagne on ice for City and Shakhtar

Published: Friday 9 May 2014, 9.59CET
Club Atlético de Madrid and FC Schalke 04 face home tests on a weekend when Manchester City FC and FC Shakhtar Donetsk require a point to be crowned champions.

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Published: Friday 9 May 2014, 9.59CET

Champagne on ice for City and Shakhtar

Club Atlético de Madrid and FC Schalke 04 face home tests on a weekend when Manchester City FC and FC Shakhtar Donetsk require a point to be crowned champions.

Germany: FC Schalke 04 v 1. FC Nürnberg (Saturday 14.30)
The stakes are high for both teams in this final-day meeting. Second-bottom Nürnberg must win and hope Hamburger SV, one place above, do not take maximum points against 1. FSV Mainz 05 in order to extend their season with a relegation play-off. Defeat for the hosts, meanwhile, would endanger their chances of finishing third and qualifying directly for the UEFA Champions League group stage. "It's a matter of character to keep fighting and continue on our path," said Nürnberg midfielder Markus Feulner. For Schalke captain Benedikt Höwedes, who could return from injury, it is a small miracle his club are in a position to clinch third spot. "Many wrote us off after the mediocre first half of the season. It's incredible how we've come back."

Belgium: R. Standard de Liège v Club Brugge KV (Sunday 14.30)
Third-ranked Club Brugge face leaders Standard knowing they cannot afford another slip-up if they are to land the Eerste Klasse title. While Standard thrashed SV Zulte Waregem 4-1 last weekend, Michel Preud'homme's team lost 1-0 at home to ten-man RSC Anderlecht who, like Club Brugge, are one point off the pace, in second. "We missed a big opportunity to do some good business in the championship battle," said Preud'homme, a former Standard goalkeeper and coach. "We can only blame ourselves, but there are still three matches to play, starting with the away game against Standard."

England: Manchester City FC v West Ham United FC (Sunday 16.00)
Manchester City will win the Premier League for the second time in three seasons if they overcome mid-table West Ham. With a two-point lead and far superior goal difference to second-placed Liverpool FC's, the Citizens will almost certainly wrap up their fourth top-flight championship even if they draw with their visitors from east London. Having spent much of the campaign playing catch-up – City have topped the table for only 11 days this term – manager Manuel Pellegrini was finally ready to discuss his side's title prospects following the 4-0 midweek defeat of Aston Villa FC that sent them into pole position with one round of fixtures remaining. "Now we can talk about the title because if we win the next game we will win the title – we couldn't say that before," said Pellegrini.

Denmark: FC Midtjylland v FC København (Sunday 17.00)
The picture at the top of the Danish Super League changed dramatically on Thursday night with leaders Midtjylland losing 3-1 at resurgent Brøndby IF – a result that transformed this tie into a second v third encounter. Champions FCK are already resigned to finishing third, midfielder Thomas Delaney conceding: "We are disappointed." The Wolves, meanwhile, trail Aalborg BK by three points with two games to go having been on course for a maiden championship. "It is the first time in the history of the club that we have come so close to the title," Midtjylland defender Kristian Bach said this week. So near and yet suddenly so far, though a place in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round would be a substantial consolation prize for coming second.

Ukraine: FC Zorya Luhansk v FC Shakhtar Donetsk (Sunday 15.00)
A point will suffice for pacesetters Shakhtar to secure their ninth Premier League crown and fifth in succession. The Pitmen have won all 21 meetings since their last defeat by Zorya in 1992/93. Twelve of those victories have been by a three-goal margin or more, including the last five. Zorya's task becomes even more difficult as the match will be played at a neutral venue and the sixth-placed team will be without suspended forward Danilo. Shakhtar striker Luiz Adriano, scorer of 16 league goals this season, is certainly confident. "We will play for victory as we always do, no thoughts of a draw. I also want to become the top scorer. It is not the primary target, but makes me even more motivated." Luiz Adriano is one shy FC Metalurh Donetsk's Júnior Moraes.

Spain: Club Atlético de Madrid v Málaga CF (Sunday 19.00)
Having seen their 15-game unbeaten run in all competitions end away to Levante UD last weekend, Atlético go into their penultimate Liga fixture looking to make amends at home to Málaga on Sunday. "I'm still convinced that the loss last week was the best thing that could have happened to us," Atlético coach Diego Simeone said. "The way it went against Levante was sad – it was a big match that we failed to respond to but we are okay and must now deliver with actions, not words," he added ahead of the visit of a 13th-ranked Málaga side seeking to confirm their top-flight status. Liga leaders by three points, the Rojiblancos conclude their campaign at second-placed FC Barcelona next week.

Last updated: 10/05/14 17.11CET

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