Though the weekend's main attraction is the next round of South Africa 2010 qualifying matches, there is still plenty of quality domestic action on offer over the next few days.
In the absence of their international stars, the title challengers in Brazil and China are aiming to advance their championship claims, while Mexico and Australia's finest will continue to jostle for position as their seasons start to take shape. FIFA.com previews the latest games in the major leagues outside Europe.
Brasileirao: Inter out to continue run
After recording big back-to-back wins that have taken them to within a point of leaders Palmeiras, Internacional will be eyeing further success when they visit Avai. Goias, who dropped to third after losing 4-0 to O Colorado last week, need to win at home to Coritiba to stay in touch with the top two. Following their goalless draw with the leaders, title holders Sao Paulo, who lie fourth, also require maximum points from their trip to Cruzeiro.
Big game: Eight points separate bottom club Fluminense from Sunday's opponents Nautico, who lie just three places above them. Defeat in that game could well prove terminal for struggling Flu.
Player to watch: Palmeiras have brought the free-scoring Vagner Love back from Russia in the hope that he can fire them to championship success. The former CSKA Moscow man could make his debut against Barueri.
Mexican Apertura: Eagles on the prowl
Mexican football fans are in for a bumper weekend with the national side's trip to Costa Rica and a full league programme to entertain them.
Buoyed by their recent goal glut, new frontrunners America travel to UANL Tigres, while Pachuca will be out to arrest their recent decline at home to Jaguares. Defending champions Pumas UNAM notched their first win of the season in their last outing and have the chance to make it two wins out of two at Atlante.
Big game: Crushed 7-2 by Las Águilas last Sunday, Toluca face a stern test of their resolve when they entertain joint leaders Monarcas Morelia, who lost to Cruz Azul last time out.
Player to watch: Emanuel Villa tops the scoring charts with six goals. With his closest challengers Salvador Cabanas, Nestor Calderon and Miguel Sabah all on international duty, Cruz Azul's Argentinian hitman has the opportunity to extend his lead when they take on Indios Juarez.
Australian A-League: Duel at the top
New pacesetters Sydney defend their one-point lead against Gold Coast United, the side they have just ousted from top spot. Central Coast Mariners meet Perth Glory who are looking for a third win on the trot in what will be the first A-League match to be played in Canberra, the national capital.
Big game: Veteran striker Robbie Fowler scored as North Queensland Fury collected their first point of the season against Adelaide United last week. Can the ex-Liverpool front man help his side climb off the bottom against Brisbane Roar?
Player to watch: Defenders on both sides will need to be watchful when Sydney and Gold Coast face off on Saturday. The Queenslanders' Kiwi striker Shane Smeltz is the league's top scorer with six goals, while the Sky Blues pose a genuine attacking threat with John Aloisi and Mark Bridge up front.
Chinese Super League: Lead up for grabs
Henan Jianye caught everyone off guard when they capitalised on Shandong Luneng's 1-1 draw with Beijing Guo'an to move into first place.
The surprise leaders take on Jiangsu Sainty with the added pressure of now being the side to beat, while perennial candidates Shandong and Beijing, who have both faltered in recent weeks, will be targeting wins over Qingdao Jonoon and Shaanxi Zhongxin respectively.
Big games: Changchun Yatai and Tianjin Teda have surged into title contention following impressive runs, and can keep their momentum going if they record respective victories against Shanghai Shenhua and Chengdu Blades.
Player to watch: One of the main factors in Jianye's rise to the top is the form of their Nigeria-born Polish striker Emmanuel Olisadebe, who has eight goals to his name this term. Guangzhou Yiyao's potent strike partners Xu-Liang and Luis Alfredo Ramirez are the leading scorers in the land, however, with nine goals apiece.