Group F team news
AC Milan's Marco Borriello and Sampdoria's Giampaolo Pazzini, both battling for the final striker berth in Italy's squad, did their chances no harm by both scoring with trademark headers in Samps's 2-1 win over Milan on Sunday.
With Roma's Luca Toni also improving his form and fitness and Juventus's Brazil-born forward Amauri now qualifying as an Italian citizen, Borriello and Pazzini both made sure they caught coach Marcello Lippi's eye with the timing of the latter's injury-time winner yet another demonstration of Pazzini's continuing threat in front of goal.
"1-1 between me and Borriello? I wouldn't say so. I won because we won 2-1," confident Pazzini told reporters after his 15th league goal of the campaign.
Paraguay striker Nelson Valdez came on as a substitute after half an hour and scored in the second half for Borussia Dortmund against Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga at the weekend.
Hoffenheim equalised with an own goal in the final minute for a 1-1 draw in the match in which Valdez's striker partner, Argentine-born striker Lucas Barrios, played from the start.
Barrios, fourth highest scorer with 15 goals in the German top flight, has taken out Paraguayan nationality through his mother and has a good chance of going to the World Cup.
Canterbury United's attacking midfielder Aaron Clapham is the only uncapped player included in the All Whites' 12-day training camp for Australasian-based players later this month.
The 23-year-old Clapham is one of four players in the 15-man training group not selected for the squad that beat Bahrain over two legs to qualify for the World Cup or for the friendly against Mexico last month.
Midfielder Jeremy Brockie, who is recovering from a broken leg, midfielder Cole Peverley and striker Costa Barbarouses have also been included for the April 28-May 10 camp that concludes with a match between a New Zealand selection and an "All Star" team drawn from the domestic league.
Slovakia's top player Marek Hamsik had a good weekend as Napoli won 2-1 at Bari to move up to sixth in Serie A with an outside chance of finishing in the top four and securing a Champions League qualifying berth.
Stanislav Sestak, the team's top scorer in World Cup qualifying, had a quiet game in VfL Bochum's 2-0 Bundesliga defeat at Cologne.
Midfielder Robert Jez boosted his hopes of making the World Cup squad after scoring the winner in Zilina's 1-0 win over Ruzomebrok to send them five points clear at the top of Slovakia's first division.