Latest legs in title races
FIFA.com brings you a wide-ranging preview of this weekend's action across five continents, including the continuation of a fascinating tussle in Argentina and the ongoing success of Ronaldo's return to the game.
Argentinian: Contenders collide
Jose Sand will strive to protect Lanus's one-point lead at the summit against the side from whom he joined El Granate; third-placed Colon. A draw would suit Velez Sarsfield and River Plate, who will meet in El Fortín in Round 6.
Goalkeeper German Montoya has inspired his team to second this term, and faces his next test against the flair the fifth-placed Millonarios possess in Diego Buonanotte, Marcelo Gallardo and Radamel Falcao Garcia.
High stakes: Boca Juniors have lost three of their last four. Argentinos Juniors have failed to win all season. A first clean sheet of the season from either Roberto Abbondanzieri or Sebastian Torrico could prove decisive at the Bombonera.
Players to watch: Eighth-placed Newell's Old Boys will hope Santiago Salcedo is on his game when Huracan, one place above them and spearheaded by Federico Nieto, pay them a visit.
Mexican Clausura: Eyes on El Clásico Joven
America may sit bottom of Group 2, but they are just four points off the pace. Jesus Ramirez will take his star-studded cast, one including Guillermo Ochoa, Pavel Pardo and Salvador Cabanas, to Cruz Azul on Saturday, when Gerardo Torrado, Alejandro Vela and Luis Landin will strive to inspire the fourth-placed hosts to a Clásico Joven victory. Section leaders Pumas face Atlante, while runners-up Guadalajara will entertain an Atlas side resurgent under new coach Ricardo Lavolpe.
Group 1 tailenders Indios and Tigres, second-bottom of Group 3, will collide in a match neither can afford to lose.
High stakes: Victory would send Group 1 frontrunners Pachuca eight points clear of second-placed Monterrey, who will hope to close the gap on their visitors.
Players to watch: The battle between Santos attacker Christian Benitez and Toluca's defensive rock Paulo da Silva could determine who emerges victorious when the Group A strugglers meet the undefeated Group 3 pacesetters.
Brazilian State Championships: All eyes on Ronaldo
Former three-time FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldo will again be the centre of attention after scoring in consecutive matches this past week. A 13-month absence with a career-threatening knee injury has not dimmed interest in the striker, with 30,000 in attendance earlier this week to see his home debut. This weekend Ronaldo's Corinthians side will visit minnows Santo Andre looking to continue on from their 2-1 triumph over Sao Caetano.
Mogi Mirim will be hoping their have turned the corner in the Paulistao after easing to a 2-0 win over Sao Paulo last weekend. They face Santos away this weekend.
High stakes: In the Taca Rio, Carlos Alberto Parreira will look to build on his winning start in the Fluminense hot-seat when they take on Macae.
Players to watch: With two goals from three appearances, Ronaldo seems back to his best for Corinthians and there will be huge interest to see if he can repeat his early promise away to Santo Andre.
Japanese J.League: Minnows flourish
Much of the interest in the second round will centre on four of the big teams, and how they recover from their midweek exertions in the AFC Champions League. Kawasaki Frontale, Gamba Osaka, Nagoya Grampus and Kashima Antlers all featured in the opening matchday of the newly-expanded competition, with only the latter failing to ensure a Japanese clean sweep after losing to Korea Republic's Suwon Bluewings.
The sensations of the opening round were newcomers Montedio Yamagata, who won 6-2 at Jubilo Iwata to take an early lead. The club with a tiny budget in comparison to the rest of the league will be further tested this weekend by the visit of Nagoya Grampus.
High stakes: Two big clubs will face off in an early-season blockbuster, as Urawa Red Diamonds host Tokyo FC. Both suffered opening round losses and a second consecutive defeat this early in the campaign would be a major blow.
Player to watch: After scoring an opening-day brace for Montedio Yamagata, 21-year-old striker Yu Hasegawa will be looking to continue his form after his goals last season helped the unfashionable club to promotion.
In the Pacific, New Caledonian side Mont-Dore will be expecting to build further on a remarkable ten-match winning streak in the Division Honneur when they take on Baco. Despite just one loss all season, they are still only two points clear of perennial title challengers Magenta, who count national team icon Pierre Wajoka among their ranks.
In South Africa, Orlando Pirates will have the opportunity to reel in leaders Supersport United, who have a six-point lead but have played a match more. The Pirates are away to Thanda Royal Zulu.