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Lewis Ambrose

Five for Friday: Özil to boss the derby and Immobile has much to prove at home


Another huge weekend lies ahead in European football but what should you keep an eye on? Here are our Five for Friday

By Lewis Ambrose

The busy European week is over and a huge weekend of domestic fixtures are ahead of us but what storylines are out there to keep an eye on? Arsenal’s north London derby hopes are pinned on Mesut Özil, Benfica meet Porto in an enormous clash and Sevilla take on Barcelona without one of their key men. All that and more in our Five for Friday.

Özil can undo England’s best defence on derby day

After 10 games this season, Tottenham have conceded just five goals. Probably because they haven’t been up against Mesut Özil yet. The German is in the form of his life, combining six goals and three assists in his last eight appearances, capped by a stunning late winner in Sofia on Tuesday. Having already downed Chelsea this season, he can inspire Arsenal to more derby day joy.

Follow all the action in the north London derby with our media tab

No Nasri, no problem for Sevilla

Sevilla's French forward Samir Nasri gestures during the Spanish league football match between Real Sporting de Gijon and Sevilla FC at El Molinon stadium in Gijon on October 29, 2016. / AFP / MIGUEL RIOPA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)

When you are lacking quality in depth, having a top coach can come in handy. So far during his time at Sevilla, Jorge Sampaoli has set up the team to cover for any individual deficiencies they may have. Sevilla will be without star performer Samir Nasri when they face Barcelona on Sunday but, with Jorge Sampaoli in charge, that does not have to matter. Having already upset Atlético Madrid recently, they will fancy their chances of beating Barcelona and staying right in the middle of the La Liga title race.

Follow all the action from Sevilla v Barcelona with our media tab

Dortmund face a dreaded opponent at the worst possible time

Hamburg's forward Pierre-Michel Lasogga celebrates after the 3-0 own goal scored by Dortmund's defender Mats Hummels during the German first division football Bundesliga match between Hamburg SV and Borussia Dortmund in Hamburg, northern Germany on November 20, 2015. AFP PHOTO / CARMEN JASPERSEN RESTRICTIONS: DURING MATCH TIME: DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE TO 15 PICTURES PER MATCH AND FORBID IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO. ==RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE == FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT THE DFL DIRECTLY AT + 49 69 650050. (Photo credit should read CARMEN JASPERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Four Bundesliga matches without a win, Borussia Dortmund need some points before they take on Bayern Munich in their next Bundesliga match. Unfortunately for Thomas Tuchel, they have not won in their last four trips to Hamburg. Pierre-Michel Lasogga has scored in Hamburg’s last two wins against the black and yellows and, without a Bundesliga goal this season, is guaranteed to start on Saturday with Bobby Wood injured. This one is about as predictable as it gets, right?

Neapolitan Immobile goes home with much left to prove

ROME, ROMA - OCTOBER 26: Ciro Immobile of SS Lazio celebrates after scoring a third goal during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and Cagliari Calcio at Stadio Olimpico on October 26, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)

Ciro Immobile has nine goals in 11 Serie A appearances so far this season but doubts around his ability remain. An 18-month excursion to the Bundesliga and La Liga saw him score five league goals in 32 appearances before he returned to Italy with his tail between his legs. Now firing them in for Lazio, he faces an emotional return to his home city, Naples, on Saturday. His career thus far has seen him collect more yellow cards than goals against Napoli but maybe he really has turned his luck around. We should find out this weekend.

Benfica must beat Porto or Vitoria’s reputation will suffer

Benfica's head coach Rui Vitoria (C) stands before the portuguese league football match SL Benfica vs FC Porto at Luz stadium in Lisbon on February 12, 2016. Porto won 2-1. / AFP / PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA (Photo credit should read PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images)

Benfica have been close to unstoppable over the last 12 months. They won the Portuguese title last season and sit top of the table again this time around, losing just four of 43 games in the meantime. The issue? Half of those defeats have come against Porto. Coach Rui Vitoria has won just one of his 14 career meetings with Porto. Sure, Benfica look great and have won things but how far will his career ever progress until he proves he can beat the best? The pressure is on, Rui.