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The weekend starts here

Published: Friday 30 April 2010, 13.00CET assesses the pick of the action on a weekend that includes a double-edged sword in the Premier League, second versus third in Germany and the French Cup final.
The weekend starts here
England midfielders Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard will meet at Anfield ©Getty Images features

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Published: Friday 30 April 2010, 13.00CET

The weekend starts here assesses the pick of the action on a weekend that includes a double-edged sword in the Premier League, second versus third in Germany and the French Cup final.

Championships can be won in the likes of Portugal and the Netherlands as our title preview explains, but here runs the rule over some of the continent's other big fixtures this weekend. You can follow the scores from all the leagues live in's MatchCentre.

Germany: FC Schalke 04 v Werder Bremen (Saturday, 15.30)
Second against third would catch the eye at any stage of the season but with only two rounds of Bundesliga fixtures remaining, this is a game with plenty at stake. Schalke are behind leaders FC Bayern München on goal difference alone while Werder are being hotly pursued by Bayer 04 Leverkusen, BV Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart. "I believe that Bayern will slip due to their European commitments," Schalke coach Felix Magath said of his former side, who host VfL Bochum 1848. "Also, Bremen are strong when it comes to attacking but fragile in defence. That suits us better than an opponent that is only out there to defend."

France: Paris Saint-Germain FC v AS Monaco FC – French Cup final (Saturday, 21.00)
Two mid-table sides can rescue unremarkable seasons in the French Cup final, a repeat of the 1984/85 decider which Monaco won 1-0. PSG are out to claim the title for the eighth time – Olympique de Marseille hold the record with ten – and while they lost 4-0 to bottom side Grenoble Foot 38 on Tuesday, striker Mevlüt Erdinç reminded his team-mates that "a good season for PSG is finishing in the top five or winning a cup; we know what's at stake". Monaco drew 1-1 against Le Mans UC 72 on Tuesday, with coach Guy Lacombe admitting his side "have no chance on Saturday if we play like this."

Spain: Villarreal CF v FC Barcelona (Saturday, 22.00)
Xavi Hernández is hopeful his team can recover from UEFA Champions League elimination at the hands of FC Internazionale Milano and lift themselves for this crucial Liga encounter. "We were dealt a huge blow but we must pick ourselves up quickly; we have all our hopes placed on the Liga," said the midfielder. With Real Madrid CF just a point behind their rivals, the 30-year-old Xavi – who picked up a calf knock in midweek – believes only a perfect end to the campaign will be enough for Barça to retain their title. "Starting with Villarreal, we've got four finals left and we will have to win every one of them."

England: Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC (Sunday, 13.30)
Liverpool still harbour slim hopes of finishing in the final UEFA Champions League place but know the visit of the Premier League leaders to Anfield is something of a double-edged sword. A victory could – should results go their way – catapult them into fourth but would simultaneously present Manchester United FC with a clear path to their 19th title, one more than Liverpool. United are only a point behind the Blues and could move into the ascendancy with a win against Sunderland AFC. "There's no chance 11 Liverpool players will go out there and consider Manchester United winning the Premier League," warned Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard. "They will go out to win. They are professional. They will give everything, no doubt about that."

Italy: S.S. Lazio v FC Internazionale Milano (Sunday, 20.45)
After qualifying for the UEFA Champions League final on Wednesday, Inter coach José Mourinho has called on the supporters to join his team in Rome on Sunday to celebrate their success and cheer them on for what the Portuguese has called a "final" against Lazio. The Nerazzurri are two points clear of AS Roma, but the Giallorossi would reclaim first place, temporarily at least, should they beat Parma FC on Saturday. Lazio are not in the habit of doing their rivals any favours, but they have plenty to play for as they sit just six points above the relegation zone with safety not yet assured. "We always play to win and we will give our best," Lazio striker Tommaso Rocchi said. "Inter are a great team, but we have had some good results lately and are in good shape."

All kick-off times are local. England is one hour behind CET.

Last updated: 30/04/10 15.59CET

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