• Friday, 13 April 2012

    Marking your card #5

    Herewith the highlights of the coming weekend around Europe.

    Biggest game of the weekend is the Ruhr derby as Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund make the short trip to Gelsenkirchen to take on rivals Schalke. Dortmund built up a six-point buffer by beating FC Bayern midweek and the Bavarians are at home to Mainz awaiting a slip-up by the Schwarzgelb. And if it's derby action you want, try Galatasaray travelling to face Besiktas in the Turkish league. Slightly more tame than that is the game on Sunday in Vienna between Rapid and Austria.

    Saturday is League Cup final day in France and Portugal as Lyon take on Marseille - the Olympique derby - at the Stade de France and Benfica meet Gil Vicente in Coimbra. Marseille go into it in stinkingly rotten form and Lyon are huge favourites to take the first silverware of the year. Benfica are even stronger favourites in their final.

    Inter travel to Udine in a big clash in terms of the minor European placings. Udinese have just gone off the boil a little lately while Andrea Stramaccioni has had a solid start to his Inter career, already taking more points in four games than Claudio Ranieri did in his last ten.

    The Eredivisie became a lot more clear-cut after the midweek matches. PSV are at home to AZ in the one clash between the top six. Twente are at home to NAC, Heerenveen go to Nijmegen and Feyenoord face their feeder club Excelsior at De Kuip. Anyone hoping for a slip-up from leaders Ajax will be disappointed - they're at home to De Graafschap.

    The top two in Spain are both in action on Saturday ahead of Champions League assignments midweek with Real Madrid at home to Sporting GĂ­jon and Barcelona with the marginally tougher assignment of playing away at Levante.

    And in English non-league football, Fleetwood Town can confirm their promotion to the football league with a win over Lincoln City at Highbury tonight. They will win that. Lincoln are rubbish.

    Enjoy the game wherever you end up.

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