European encounters in 11
© AFP

Matchday 11 takes on a slightly different format, with eight scheduled fixtures instead of the usual ten. Predictors will therefore need to apply pinpoint accuracy if they wish to maximize returns this outing. In the first of two Matchday 11 previews, FIFA.com takes a closer look at the five European fixtures.

Faroe Islands-France
The French national team, who have ten points after five games, have their work cut out for them as they try to gain on Group 7 leaders Serbia, who have 18 points after seven matches. Predictors can expect a no-nonsense French performance when Les Bleus travel to the Faroe Islands, a team that has failed to record a win in their Group 7 games so far.

Last FIFA World Cup™ qualifying meeting: France 3-0 Faroe Islands (Lens, 3 September 2005)
FIFA World Cup qualifying head-to-head record: Played (2), France (2), Faroe Islands (0)

Norway-Scotland
Norway will be looking to record their first win of the group stage, while Scotland, currently in second-place, must capitalise if they aim to finish as one of the top eight runners-up in Europe, therby earning a qualification play-off. Norway are solid favourites at home (41 per cent to win), but a Scottish surprise would return 72 points.

Last FIFA World Cup qualifying meeting: Scotland 0-0 Norway (Glasgow, 11 October 2008)
FIFA World Cup qualifying head-to-head record: Played (5), Scotland (2), Norway (1), Draws (2)

New encounters
The six teams involved in the following three matches have never faced one another in international competition. Could the maiden fixtures reward or unravel predictor's hopes?

Azerbaijan-Germany
Group 4 leaders Germany face second from the bottom Azerbaijan, who have yet to record a win in South Africa 2010 qualification. With second-placed Russia trailing the leaders by one point, Germany are expected to deliver a full-strength performance as they attempt to hold on to the coveted direct qualification spot. Carrying only a two per cent likelihood of success, Azerbaijan are largely expected to extend their current four-game losing streak.

Slovenia-San Marino
While Slovenia still carry a glimmer of qualification hopes, San Marino's 2010 FIFA World Cup journey is over. Slovenia are vast favourites with some impressive showings this tournament which include wins against Northern Ireland and current group leaders Slovakia and draws with Poland and Czech Republic. San Marino are massive outsiders with FIFA.com's users, with only four per cent backing them to win.

Belarus-Croatia
In Europe's Group 6, second-placed Croatia must fend off a Belarus team that will overtake them should they win. A Belarus victory could seriously damage Croatian FIFA World Cup hopes, while defeat for Belarus all but assures that they will not qualify.

Matchday 11 Deadline: 00:00 GMT 12 August 2009

Matchday 11 fixtures (12 August)
Mexico-USA
Faroe Islands-France
Norway-Scotland
Trinidad and Tobago-El Salvador
Honduras-Costa Rica
Slovenia-San Marino
Azerbaijan-Germany
Belarus-Croatia