Neill named by Australia

Lucas Neill has been named in Australia's provisional squad for a World Cup qualifier away to China in Kunming on Wednesday 26 March.

The West Ham United captain, who is one of a dozen Barclays Premier League players named in Pim Verbeek's selection, helped the Socceroos get their campaign to reach the 2010 finals in South Africa under way last month with a 3-0 home win against Qatar. The squad will be finalised after Australia play a friendly in Singapore on Saturday week, when only domestic-based players will be involved.

The Socceroos, based in the Asian continental zone, have been drawn in qualifying Group 1. After 26 March, they are next in action on 2 June when they welcome Iraq before the reverse fixture is played five days later. If Australia finish in first or second, they will progress to the next stage which will see two groups of five teams. The top two teams from both pools will then go automatically to the World Cup - a fifth team will play-off against an Oceania zone nation for another spot.