Back in the fray in 13

Before you spend too much time dwelling on Matchday 12, be sure to make your Matchday 13 predictions. The deadline for Matchday 13 is 0:00 (GMT) 8 September 2009. takes a closer look at some of the upcoming fixtures.

Big night in Belgrade: Serbia-France
Group 7 leaders Serbia will try to fend off the 1998 world champions when they visit Belgrade. With only two more qualification days after this encounter, predictors can expect a play-to-win philosophy in both camps; an attitude that would stand in contrast to the two sides rather draw heavy head-to-head history.

FIFA World Cup™ qualifying head-to-head record: Played (10), Serbia (3), France (3), Draws (4)
Last FIFA World Cup qualifying meeting: France 2-1 Serbia (Saint-Denis, 10 September 2008)

Fire in the fortress: Mexico-Honduras
It's going to be a heated night in Mexico City, when the two South Africa 2010 hopefuls square off in the Estadio Azteca. Honduras have displayed some fantastic form of late, including a 5-0 demolition of Costa Rica, but must try to overcome Mexico's impressive home record if they aim to snatch a direct qualification place. Mexico are strong favourites at home, but Honduras impressive attack, spear-headed by Carlos Costly, may yet surprise predictors.

FIFA World Cup qualifying head-to-head record: Played (15), Mexico (8), Honduras (4), Draws (3)
Last FIFA World Cup qualifying meeting: Honduras 3-1 (San Pedro Sula, 1 April 2009)

Tussle in Turin: Italy-Bulgaria
The reigning world champions have a chance to further their qualification hopes when they host third-placed Bulgaria in Europe's Group 8. However, should the Azzurri fail to capitalize on home advantage they could be dragged into a three-way race for qualification. Republic of Ireland fans and predictors alike will be watching this crucial encounter with intense interest.

FIFA World Cup qualifying head-to-head record: Played (1), Draws (1)
Last FIFA World Cup qualifying meeting: Bulgaria 0-0 Italy (Sofia, 11 October 2008)

Battle in Belfast: Northern Ireland-Slovakia
Northern Ireland will try to reign in Group 3 leader's Slovakia when they meet in Belfast. The three-time FIFA World Cup participants will be looking to get maximum mileage out of their penultimate qualifier against Slovakia.

FIFA World Cup qualifying head-to-head record: Played (1), Slovakia (1)
Last FIFA World Cup qualifying meeting: Slovakia 2-1 Northern Ireland (Bratislava, 6 September 2008)

South American duel: Paraguay-Argentina
After a strong start to qualification, Paraguay have suffered a few setbacks in recent matches, losing to Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. A win against Argentina would go a long way to pushing Paraguay into a place in South Africa 2010, but Can Gerardo Martino's men fend off Maradona's army? Paraguay have only ever beaten the Argentina once in FIFA World Cup qualification, while the two sides have played out draws on numerous occasions.

FIFA World Cup qualifying head-to-head record: Played (13), Argentina (4), Paraguay (1) Draws (8)
Last FIFA World Cup qualifying meeting: Argentina 1-1 Paraguay, (Buenos Aires, 6 September 2008)

Matchday 13 Fixtures
Northern Ireland-Slovakia
Trinidad and Tobago-USA
Saudi Arabia-Bahrain