Brasil's top domestic league kicks off this weekend while a number of leagues in Europe approach the finish line. Meanwhile in Mexico, the knockout stage of the 2010 Torneo Bicentenario heats up. FIFA.com takes a look at the big games in the penultimate round of FIFA World Leagues Predictor Season 3.
Match of the week
Flamengo-Sao Paulo (Brazil)
In the 2009 Brasileirao, two points ultimately separated winners Flamengo from runners-up Internacional and Sao Paulo. The experience will be a motivating factor when Flamengo and Sao Paulo meet this weekend and both sides will aim to kick off their new campaigns with a potentially precious win. Both teams have looked impressive in the 2010 Copa Libertadores thus far and will be looking to replicate their international performances in the Brasileirao. Flamengo are marginal favourites at home and enjoyed a 2-1 win when they last hosted Sao Paulo.
VfL Bochum-Hannover 96 (Germany)
The final matchday of the 2009/10 Bundesliga includes a tense relegation-deciding match in which a win for either team is crucial. Second from the bottom VfL Bochum, who have lost their past four home matches, are two points behind Hannover 96, who are placed nervously above the drop zone. A Bochum win may be enough to squeeze them out of relegation while simultaneously relegating Hannover 96. Cautious predictors may back Hannover to play for a draw but even that may not be enough to keep them up.
Pumas UNAM-Santos Laguna (Mexico)
Mexico’s Torneo Bicentenario enters the second-leg of the quarter-final stage this weekend. Pumas UNAM will have to try and overturn a 2-0 deficit on home soil if they plan to progress. The last time the two sides met in Mexico City, Pumas won 1-0.
Battle for France
Lille-Olympique Marseille (France)
With only two games remaining in their Ligue 1 campaign, Marseille have already claimed the league title. Facing the new champions this weekend is a Lille side that still have work to do if they aim to qualify directly for the UEFA Champions League. Lille currently hold the best home record in the 2009/10 Ligue 1 season (Played 18; Wins 13, Draws 3, Lost 2). Despite their impressive home record, Lille are underdogs and could return backers over 80 points if they win.
The final Serie A qualification seat for next season’s UEFA Champions League may be decided when Sampdoria travel to Palermo. Fifth-placed Palermo are two points behind fourth-placed Sampdoria. The home side are one of only three Serie A teams with an undefeated home record this season. With 13 wins from 18 home games, the hosts will be no soft touch.