Huge derbies, huge stakes
© AFP

The biggest derbies in Argentina, Chile and Mexico will take place this weekend. Brazilians will also be treated to a series of clássicos, with the state championship semi-finals taking place in Sao Paulo and the possibility of Botafogo and Internacional being crowned champions of Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul respectively. With the potential for change at the top in China PR and Korea Republic, FIFA.com looks ahead to the pick of the forthcoming action outside Europe.

Argentinian Clausura: Superclásico time
Leaders Velez Sarsfield and Lanus, one point back in third, will both expect home wins over Arsenal and Tigre respectively. However, the Round 10 hurdle appears decidedly steeper for runners-up Colon, who will this evening travel to an eighth-placed Independiente side for whom Daniel Montenegro has been shining.

The biggest headlines will nevertheless surface from the Bombonera, where goal-shy Boca Juniors, in 11th, will look for their first victory in four games against River Plate, four points off the pace in fourth.

High stakes: Racing Club and Banfield are level on points, just three off the foot, but are on contrasting runs of form. The former will try to make it 13 points from a possible 15, while El Taladro will hope to avoid figures of just one win in six after Saturday's encounter.
Players to watch: Boca's Juan Riquelme and Marcelo Gallardo of River are pushing to be fit in order to support Martin Palermo and Radamel Falcao respectively.

Brazilian State Championships: All on the line
Botafogo will meet Flamengo in the Taca Rio decider on Sunday knowing that, having already won the Taca Guanabara, victory will make them Campeonato Carioca champions. With Maicosuel in exquisite form, O Fogão are confident mood having overwhelmed Vasco 4-0 last weekend. O Mengão, who require victory to force an overall state championship final, will hope Kleberson and Ibson can find their rhythm at the Maracana.

Santos and Corinthians eked out 2-1 defeats of Palmeiras and Sao Paulo in the first leg of their Paulistao semi-finals, but must strive to protect their cushions away from home.

High stakes: Victory in the Taca Fabio Koff final would crown Internacional champions of Rio Grande do Sul, while a Caxias success would force an overall Campeonato Gaucho decider.
Players to watch: Palmeiras striker Keirrison, Santos's 17-year-old sensation Neymar, the prolific Washington of Sao Paulo and Corinthians' Ronaldo could have a big say in the outcome of their semi-finals.

Chilean Apertura: Now or never for Colo-Colo
A disastrous run of one point from six outings has left Colo-Colo in danger of missing out on a top-eight place and the play-offs. The country's most successful club has just six games to make up five points and seven positions, and their forthcoming test could not be any more arduous: a trip to arch-rivals Universidad de Chile, in second.

Seventh-placed Cobreloa will host Everton, one spot beneath them, while Curico Unido and Universidad de Concepcion, sixth and ninth respectively, will do battle.

High stakes: Audax Italiano will look to strengthen their grip on a play-off berth when they visit O'Higgins, who would climb from tenth with victory.
Players to watch: Argentinian forward Lucas Barrios is Colo-Colo's look-to man, while Sunday's opponents will have the prolific Manuel Villalobos in their attack.

Mexican Clausura: Four rounds to go
With Pachuca and Toluca all but through to the play-offs, only four rounds remain for the rest of the field. And if the stakes were not already towering enough in Mexico's biggest derby, the fact that only one point separates Guadalajara and America, third and second in Group 2, will intensify matters.

Tecos and Monarcos sit narrowly behind the El Súper Clásico rivals. The former will entertain Group 1 strugglers Atlante, while Pachuca visit the latter.

High stakes: Monterrey, one point off second-placed Puebla in Group 1 and spearheaded by Humberto Suazo, will look to improve their play-off aspirations against San Luis, fourth in Group 3 and with Jose Reyes leading their line.
Players to watch: America's Salvador Cabanas heads the Clausura scoring chart, but the visitors must find a way to keep Guadalajara's Omar Arellano in check.

Korean K-League: Underdogs aim to maintain momentum
Gwangju Sangmu finished bottom of the K-League 2008, but having won four of their five outings this term - more than they did during the entire previous campaign - the military team top the standings. Influential forwards Kim Meung-Jung and Choi Sung-Kuk will strive to keep them there when they visit second-bottom Chunnam Dragons.

Jeonbuk Motors, two points back in second but with a game in hand, will hope elusive winger Choi Tae-Uk can lead them to victory at his former club Pohang Steelers, while fourth-placed FC Seoul and their Montenegrin inspiration Dejan Damjanovic will welcome Daegu to the capital.

High stakes: Incheon United, five points off the pace having played one game less, will host reigning champions Suwon Bluewings, who have taken just four points from a possible 15.
Players to watch: Choi Eun-Sung recently celebrated his 400th appearance for Daejeon Citizen with some superb saves, and will now try to thwart Seongnam Chunma's in-form Cho Dong-Gun.

Elsewhere
With Wang Xiao and Damiano Tomassi on song, Chinese Super League leaders Tianjin Teda will expect three points from the visit of lowly Jiangsu Sainty. Henan Jianye, level on points with the frontrunners, will host ninth-placed Changsha Ginde, while the big game involves reigning champions Shandong Luneng and Beijing Guo'an, level on points in fifth and third respectively.