As major leagues in Europe enter the final third, seasons in Mexico and Argentina are just getting started. FIFA.com takes a look at some of Round 23's most exciting fixtures for FIFA World Leagues Predictor.
Match of the week
Porto-Sporting Braga (Portugal)
Portugal’s Big Three have been disturbed this season thanks to the efforts of Sporting Braga. This weekend, Braga have the chance to set Porto adrift from title contention, ensuring a two-horse race with Benfica for the title. The stakes are high for the reigning champions and a loss against Braga, who already enjoy an eight-point cushion on Porto, could cost them UEFA Champions League qualification. Porto’s home record is unblemished this season and consequently Braga are underdogs at the Estadio do Dragao. That said, Braga's current form (six consecutive wins) makes them an enticing side to back (89 points).
Battle for Champion’s seat
Manchester City-Liverpool (England)
It’s all or nothing for Liverpool, currently in fifth position, when they visit fourth-placed Manchester City. If Liverpool aim to be in Europe’s premier competition next season a win against Manchester City, who are two points ahead with a game in hand, is essential. Benitez boys will have to overturn the odds if they want to prevail. They have recorded only one win in their past six away games and face a City side that are undefeated at home this season.
The Soweto derby
Orlando Pirates-Kaizer Chiefs (South Africa)
South Africa’s premier derby will have most locals fans in either yellow or black this weekend. Pirates pulled the double on the Glamour Boys last season with 2-1 and 2-0 wins. Their last meeting however, a goalless encounter back in October 2009, brought little joy for either side. A Chief’s win would return 73 points, while another Pirates victory would net backers 62 points.
Godoy Cruz-Boca Juniors (Argentina)
After a poor 17th-place finish in their return to Argentina’s Primera A, Godoy Cruz have kicked off the Clausura campaign on a much better note and are undefeated in four games. If their last league meeting is anything to go by (Boca lost 2-3 at home to Godoy) predictors are in for a dramatic fixture. Godoy are underdogs at home (81 points) while Boca carry a 39 point-return if they win. A draw would also yield high returns (81 points).
Guadalajara are currently the team to beat in Mexico and are the only side to record five wins in the first five games of the recently commenced Torneo Bicentenario. Guadalajara, who only managed to win a total of five games in the 2009-2010 Apertura, surely feel that this is their season to make a challenge on the crown. Their opponents this weekend have made a poor start of it, suffering three losses in their first five fixtures and are consequently the long-shot prediction of the week. A Puebla win offers an enticing but unlikely 91-point return.