After battles on the continental stage in midweek, Europe's leading teams return to the business of earning domestic points this weekend. With the top two in England set the collide, the Madrid derby in Spain, Lyon taking on Marseille in France, and a series of other huge games, previews the forthcoming action.

Premier League: Leadership at stake in London
Cup holders versus champions, first versus second: the superlatives will come tumbling out when Chelsea and Manchester United cross swords at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Two points separate the sides, so the arithmetic is simple: the winner finishes the weekend top.

Third-placed Arsenal and fourth-placed Manchester City face promoted teams in the shape of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley, while out-of-sorts Liverpool complete the weekend programme against the third top-flight newcomers, Birmingham City, on Monday. 

The question: Can the Red Devils topple Chelsea from their perch, or will the Blues continue to stride clear of the field?
The big game: Chelsea-Manchester United, Sunday 8 November, 17:00, Stamford Bridge
The quote: " When people ask me which game I want to win this season, it's the game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. So it's going to be a very important match for us," Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

La Liga: Derby with a difference
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will contest the capital derby in contrasting positions. Los Merengues are second, one point off the pace, while Los Colchoneros are 18th and desperately require victory to lift their spirits and ease them away from trouble.

Leaders Barcelona will look to bounce back from a disappointing goalless draw away to Rubin Kazan in midweek when they entertain fifth-placed Mallorca. Valencia, in fourth, meet 12th-placed Zaragoza, the best of the promoted clubs, while third-placed Sevilla will seek to underline their title ambitions against Villarreal, who down in 13th but on a run of form.

The question: Can Atletico escape the drop zone with a victory over bitter rivals Real?
The big game: Barcelona-Mallorca, Saturday 7 November, 20:00, Camp Nou
The quote: "We're in a difficult situation, but we'll only be strong if we stick together. We believe in ourselves, and we know we have the quality to win on Saturday," Atletico Madrid winger Simao Sabrosa.

Bundesliga: Crunch time for Bayern
These are troubled times at Bayern in the wake of the 2-0 defeat at home to Bordeaux and the goalless draw at struggling Stuttgart that preceded it. Louis van Gaal's men are sixth in the table, and now entertain fourth-placed Schalke, the league's best away team. Anything less than a convincing win would see storm clouds gather over the coach and his expensively-assembled squad.

Leaders Bayer Leverkusen and third-placed Hamburg have winnable fixtures at home to Eintracht Frankfurt and away to Hanover respectively, while fourth-placed Werder Bremen meet resurgent Borussia Dortmund on Sunday. Tailenders Hertha Berlin will be heartened by Thursday's UEFA Europa League success when they face fourth-bottom Cologne. The men from the capital must win, as they are already five points away from safety.

The question: Can Bayern return to winning ways when their former coach Felix Magath returns to Munich on Saturday, or will the crisis deepen for Ribery, Robben and Co?
The big game: Bayern Munich-Schalke, Saturday 7 November, 15:30, Allianz Arena
The quote: "There's always a chance of beating Bayern, and we have no reason to be afraid. But mark my words, Bayern will win the league this season," Schalke coach Felix Magath. 

Ligue 1: Olympique battle
Champions and leaders Bordeaux are on a roll going into Matchday 12, after four wins on the bounce in the Champions League and Ligue 1. Les Girondins will hope to extend their advantage at the top when they face Lille, who are 15th. Second-placed Lyon appear to have a considerably tougher task against seventh-placed Marseille.

Given the right results, third-placed Monaco could leapfrog Lyon with a win over rock-bottom Grenoble, who have still to register a point this term. Surprise package Montpellier, in fourth, face a test of their credentials away to Valenciennes, just two places below them in the table.

The question: Can Lyon recover top spot, or will Bordeaux pull further clear of the pack?
The big game:: Lyon-Marseille, Sunday 8 November, 21:00, Stade Gerland
The quote: "The league is our priority this season. We have to win on Sunday, as we can't be falling any further behind Bordeaux," Lyon midfielder Jeremy Toulalan.

Serie A: Roma aim to derail Inter express
Things are not going according to plan for Roma, tipped to feature strongly in the title race before the season but languishing in 14th after 11 rounds. Moreover, they now face the daunting prospect of a trip to Inter Milan, who are seven points clear of second-placed Juventus. The Turin outfit travel to struggling Atalanta determined to come away with three points.

Third-placed Sampdoria, level on points with Juve, will be equally keen to prevent Jose Mourinho's men disappearing over the horizon when they visit ninth-placed Cagliari. AC Milan, in fourth and undefeated in six league games, make the trip to the capital for an appointment with struggling Lazio.

The question: Can AC Milan maintain their fine form away to Lazio, or will the men from Rome put the brakes on I Rossoneri?
The big game: Inter-Roma, Sunday 8 November, 20:45, San Siro
The quote: "There's no crisis here. We're just paying the price for playing three games a week," Lazio coach Davide Ballardini.

First meets second in Bosnia-Herzegovina, when Borac Banja Luka entertain Velez Mostar looking to extend their two-point advantage at the summit.

In Denmark, a mere two points separate leaders Odense and fourth-placed Bronby, with Copenhagen and Esbjerg level on points between the pair. Esbjerg travel to face Brondby, with Odense also on the road against fifth-placed Silkeborg, the best of the promoted teams. Last term's double winners Copenhagen visit seventh-placed Aalborg.