World Leagues preview
The attention of football followers in Brazil and the USA may be consumed by the ongoing FIFA Confederations Cup, but they will also be keeping an eye on domestic action this weekend. With the campaign in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay at critical stages, and important fixtures in China PR, FIFA.com previews the forthcoming events outside Europe.
Argentinian Clausura: Penultimate showdowns
Two components in the three-way fight for gold will collide in the penultimate round, when third-placed Lanus host a table-topping Velez Sarsfield side chasing both victory and a clean sheet for the fourth game running. The defending of Nicolas Otamendi and ingenuity of Maximiliano Moralez will be central to an away win, while El Granate's chances rest heavily on the shoulders of Jose Sand.
Huracan, one point off the pace in second, will entertain second-bottom Arsenal hoping to make it 25 points from a possible 27.
High stakes: Abel Alves will begin a short stint as Boca Juniors' interim coach at home to relegation-threatened Gimnasia La Plata.
Players to watch: The confrontation between Independiente centre-back Eduardo Tuzzio and San Lorenzo attacker Andres Silvera, both playing against their former clubs, could dictate the outcome of this heavyweight battle.
Brasileirao: Forwards in focus
An enchanting Diego Tardelli-Eder Luis spearhead has thrust Atletico Mineiro to the summit, but Round 7 will send them to a fifth-placed Santos side that boasts a formidable frontline of its own, comprising 17-year-old sensation Neymar and veteran Kleber Pereira. Runners-up Internacional, without South Africa 2009-occupied Nilmar, will visit the Adriano-led Flamengo, while third-placed Palmeiras will travel to Atletico Paranaense.
Vitoria, in fourth, will welcome lowly Botafogo, whose neighbours Fluminense play tailenders Avai away.
High stakes: It is O Majestoso (The Majestic) time at the Morumbi: Corinthians versus Sao Paulo; Dentinho and Ronaldo up against Borges and Washington.
Players to watch: Anderson Lessa, 19, will be out to fire Nautico up from ninth, but diminutive forward Marcos Aurelio will strive to spoil his day and improve third-bottom Coritiba's position.
Chilean: Last call for the last four
Universidad de Chile and Universidad Catolica put one foot in the semi-finals by beating Audax Italiano 4-1 away and Santiago Morning 4-0 at home respectively in their first legs. However, the remaining two quarter-finals remain wide open.
O'Higgins and Union Espanola shared two goals in Rancagua, and the latter will now have home advantage. So, too, will an Everton side featuring Ezequiel Miralles when they collide with Municipal Iquique, whose line will be fronted by imports Cristian Campozano and Cristian Bogado.
High stakes: Everton will be desperate to set the mood for their 100th birthday on Wednesday with victory.
Players to watch: O'Higgins will pin their hopes on Nicolas Medina and Fernando Meneses, but they must keep an eye on Argentinians Raul Estevez and Gustavo Canales.
American Major League Soccer: RSL challenge Dynamo dominance
Houston Dynamo have roared to the top of the Western Conference with 25 points from their last nine games. The Orange Crush will look to improve this run at home to Real Salt Lake, four places below them.
Meanwhile, San Jose Earthquakes, bottom of the section, will host Los Angeles Galaxy in a California derby in which the performances of their respective forwards, Darren Huckerby and Edson Buddle, could prove decisive.
High stakes: DC United will entertain Columbus Crew in a duel between first and third in the Eastern Conference.
Players to watch: New York Red Bulls forward Juan Pablo Angel and Freddie Ljungberg of Seattle Sounders have the quality to dictate the outcome of their encounter.
Chinese Super League: Beijing test
Pacesetters Beijing Guo'an, with Yang Hao and Joel Griffiths on song, have a tough assignment to pass in Round 12, when Henan Jianye, four points back in third and boasting foreign stars Emmanuel Olisadebe and Leandro Netto, visit the capital.
Fans of runners-up Shandong Luneng, the defending champions, will expect Han Peng and Co to brush past rock-bottom Chongqing Lifan, while second-bottom Shenzhen will be out to move level on points with tenth-placed Jiangsu Sainty by beating them at home.
High stakes: Shanghai Shenhua and Dalian Haichang, seventh and sixth respectively, will do battle.
Players to watch: Guangzhou Yiyao's Luiz Ramirez and Cao Tianbao of Changchun Yatai could be crucial to the outcome of this encounter between teams sitting in fourth and fifth.
Apertura winners Nacional will take on Clausura kings Defensor in the first leg of the Uruguayan championship final.