The Argentinian Superclásico between Boca Juniors and River Plate is the choice dish on the menu of planet football this weekend, which also includes several state finals in Brazil, the last day in the Mexican regular season and a top-of-the-table clash in Nigeria. FIFA.com previews the forthcoming action.
Argentinian Clausura:Superclásicoin the Bombonera
Every time this fixture comes around, Argentina holds its collective breath. Boca Juniors, in fourth, welcome runners-up River Plate to an Estadio Bombonera sure to be packed to the rafters for one of the most emotionally charged clashes in world football. The teams go into Sunday's derby after contrasting Copa Libertadores results, Los Millonarios losing 2-1 to a resurgent San Lorenzo while Los Xeneizes beat Brazilian outfit Cruzeiro by the same score.
After a Libertadores let-down of their own, Clausura leaders Estudiantes will be looking to bounce back when they host 15th-placed Argentinos Juniors. Apertura 2007 champions Lanus, meanwhile, are desperate to end a run of nine games without a win and ease themselves up the table.
Big game: The eyes of the footballing world will
surely be focused on the
Superclásico, scheduled for 20.10 local time on Sunday 4
Player to watch: River midfielder Diego Buonanotte, scorer of a brace last week against Argentinos Juniors, would love to repeat the feat against Boca.
Brazilian State Championships: Moment of truth
The destinations of the major state championship trophies will be determined on Sunday. Cruzeiro appear to have the Campeonato Mineiro title secured after a 5-0 defeat of arch-rivals Atletico Mineiro last weekend, but the Carioca, Gaucho, Goiano and Paulista finalists are separated by just one goal after their first legs. Flamengo, Juventude, Itumbiara and Palmeiras are in the driving seat after respective 1-0 victories over Botafogo, Juventude, Internacional and Ponte Preta.
Over in Parana, Coritiba will take a two-goal cushion to the home of Atletico Paranaense.
Big game: Flamengo are set to face Botafogo in front of a full house at the Maracana on Sunday, with the Carioca crown at stake.
Player to watch: Botafogo forward Wellington Paulista already has 14 goals to his name in the competition, and will be key to his side's chances against Fla.
Mexican Clausura: One last chance
Toluca, Jaguares, Santos and Monterrey all go into the final matchday in Mexico with their ticket to the end-of-season Liguilla already guaranteed. Over in Group 3, Guadalajara, Cruz Azul and San Luis are all still in the hunt for a top-two finish, which would seal their place in the eight-team Liguilla. Chivas travel to face a Jaguares side looking to snatch the top spot in Group 1 from Jose Pekerman's Toluca, Cruz Azul tackle Atlas, while San Luis visit Santos - one of this season's most durable opponents. Puebla, until recently struggling to avoid the drop, could now seal a play-off spot against Apertura 2007 champions Atlante, who are now out of the championship race.
Big game: Pachuca, the newly crowned CONCACAF
Champions Cup winners and the region's representatives at the
FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2008, return to domestic action when they
Player to watch: Monterrey's Humberto Suazo leads the goalscoring charts with 13 strikes so far. Will LosRayados sharpshooter continue to hold off the challenge of ten-goal Esteban Solari?
Japanese J-League: Level-pegging at the top
Urawa Red Diamonds and Nagoya Grampus go into the tenth round of matches level on 19 points apiece. Urawa visit eighth-placed Vissel Kobe, who held Kashima Antlers to a draw on Wednesday, while Nagoya host out-of-sorts Gamba Osaka, down in tenth.
Reigning champions Kashima, currently in third, will be relying on the goalscoring prowess of on-form Brazilian Marquinhos on their trip to Kawasaki Frontale. Fifth-placed Yokohama Marinos, meanwhile, face struggling Tokyo Verdi and a win could push them further up the table.
Big game: Omiya Ardija will face face FC Tokyo,
two points above them in fourth, in a battle of sides determined to
keep pace with the frontrunners.
Player to watch: Nagoya's Norwegian front-man Frode Johnsen has already hit six goals in nine matchdays so far, and appears to be Marquinhos' biggest rival for the top scorers' crown. Will he add to his tally against Gamba Osaka?
NigerianPremier League: Title within Kano Pillar's grasp
The penultimate matchday of the Nigerian league is shaping up nicely, particularly for Kano Pillars, who can can seal the title with victory over second-placed Beyelsa United. United lie just four points behind the leaders, level on 59 with both Heartland and Niger Tornadoes, and could ensure a thrilling final day's action should they deny Pillars all three points.
Big game: Beyelsa United-Kano Pillars on Sunday 4 May at 19.00 (local time), could see the visitors clinch the league title.
Over in the United States, DC United will be hoping to remain top of the MLS Western Conference after the visit of San Jose Earthquakes, while David Beckham's second-placed Los Angeles Galaxy travel to Real Salt Lake City. In the Eastern Conference, leaders Columbus Crew welcome Kansas Wizards while closest challengers Chicago Fire and New England Revolution square off for second place.