World Cup weekend preview

A host of West Ham United players have World Cup fixtures on their minds this this Saturday and next Wednesday - rounds up the news.

Summer signing Valon Behrami has been called up by Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld for the qualifying matches in Israel and at home to Luxembourg. The Swiss are in Group 2, which also includes Greece, Moldova and Latvia. Behrami played all 90 minutes in a wide right role in last month's 4-1 home friendly win against Cyprus and, at 23, already has 20 caps and two goals to his name.

Robert Green, capped once, and Matthew Upson, with eight appearances for his country, were selected in a 23-man pool named by Fabio Capello for the Group 6 matches against Andorra in Barcelona and then away to Croatia in Zagreb the following Wednesday. England have been drawn in Group 12 with Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine the other opponents standing in their way.

John Toshack originally named Craig Bellamy and James Collins in his squad for their Group 4 qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Russia. However, it was mutually agreed that both men could stay behind at the club to focus on their fitness. Germany, Finland and Liechtenstein round out the group, with Danny Gabbidon and Jack Collison also hopeful of playing a part as the campaign continues over the course of the season.

Congo DR
New recruit Herita Ilunga, signed on deadline day from Toulouse, will be in action for his country at home to Egypt on Sunday before heading to Chadwell Heath. The left-back played in two World Cup matches back in June - including the 2-1 defeat in Egypt when he scored. With four games played by all four teams in Group 12, DR Congo on nine points lead the way from this weekend's opponents by a superior goal difference. This is the penultimate stage of African qualifying.

Lucas Neill will once again captain the Australian squad for their friendly away to the Netherlands in Eindhoven on Saturday and the subsequent World Cup qualifier in Uzbekistan four days later. The Socceroos began their first qualifying campaign as part of the Asian zone earlier in the summer and have performed impressively to date. Should they finish either first or second in Group A that also contains Japan, Bahrain and Qatar they will be sure of a place in the finals.