Inter Milan dropped two points in their pursuit of the top dogs in Serie A as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Chievo, while Sampdoria cruised past a nine-man Udinese 3-0.
Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni said his side will be looking to show the world how strong his side are at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, with the Italian believing his team are growing in confidence.
Guangzhou Evergrande players Zheng Zhi, Muriqui and Dario Conca have all been nominated for awards at the AFC player of the year gala.
On-loan Inter Milan goalkeeper Francesco Bardi and Japanese defender Yuto Nagatomo provided the goals in Inter Milan's 2-0 win over promoted Livorno to reinforce fourth place in Italy's Serie A.
In our weekly round-up of forthcoming birthdays, we take a look at the respective careers of Der Kaiser, an African FIFA World Cup legend and a couple of midfield maestros, who will all be celebrating this week.
Rafael Benitez and Walter Mazzarri enjoyed their first league games at the helm of their new sides as Napoli thumped Bologna 3-0 in Serie A after Inter Milan had seen off Genoa 2-0.