The final countdown
© AFP

With only five rounds to play in the inaugural season of the FIFA World Leagues Predictor, tension at the top is approaching the breaking-point. MPear11 of Canada is only just out in front of the chasing pack with a slim 106-point edge.

DanielOlaf, whose extended run at the pinnacle looked unassailable a few weeks ago, is the currently the closest pretender to the crown while 141 points is all that separates third-place Javy1409 of the United States from top position.

As ever the weekend schedule offers up some enticing contests and an opportunity for the top pickers to shuffle up again. In Spain, recently crowned Copa del Rey kings Valencia will travel to the hostile confines of resurgent Athletic Bilbao's San Mames ground for what promises to be an alluring clash.

in the USA, a north eastern MLS derby is on the cards with a Juan Pablo Angel-led Red Bull New York taking on Stevie Nicol's New England Revolution at the Meadowlands while, in England, eighth-place Manchester City will host sixth-place Portsmouth in a tricky affair with potential European consequences.

Round 27 games - 19 & 20 April
Kashima Antlers-Gamba Osaka (Japan)
Rennes-Valenciennes (France)
Athletic Bilbao-Valencia (Spain)
Rosario Central-River Plate (Argentina)
FC Porto-Benfica (Portugal)
Monterrey-Guadalajara (Mexico)
New York Red Bulls-New England Revolution (USA)
Dundee United-Hibernian (Scotland)
Parma-Napoli (Italy)
Manchester City-Portsmouth (England)

The winner for the round picks up a signed jersey of the FIFA World Cup™ winner of his choosing and the top picker at the end of the season will be on his way to a FIFA World Cup group game in South Africa in the summer of 2010.

Even if you missed out on the opening rounds, sign up now and join the fun! Prove that you have got what it takes to compete with the likes of leader Mpear11, and pick yourself up some hot prizes in the process.

The selection deadline for Round 27 is Friday midnight GMT.