Anthony Hudson is set to spring a couple of surprises in his team to face Peru today, as he is likely to take a punt on youth.
This afternoon's clash is the biggest All Whites match in four years - and the biggest on home soil since the epic encounter with Bahrain in 2009, given the clash with Mexico in Wellington in 2013 was essentially a dead rubber.
It will be a day for calm heads and cool nerves, as players try to ignore what is at stake and get on with the job.
Despite that, Hudson is set to hand a starting position to 20-year-old Clayton Lewis in midfield. Lewis missed the recent friendly with Japan as he had just joined Scunthorpe United in League One, and in September was a controversial omission from the squad to face the Solomon Islands due to fitness and conditioning issues.
But he was one of the standout performers at the 2017 Confederations Cup, especially in the 2-1 loss to Mexico, where he created Chris Wood's goal and set up another great chance for the Burnley striker.
That kind of performance on the big stage, and his ability to hold possession in tight areas, should see him preferred to Kosta Barbarouses in midfield.
The Big Read: Tommy gun backs words with his action
Winston Reid: All Whites can handle the pressure against Peru
All Whites v Peru: Six players to watch
The goal that changed Chris Wood's life
Barbarouses had a poor season with the Wellington Phoenix last season, and is still recovering his confidence back at the Melbourne Victory.
Lewis is likely to start alongside Michael McGlinchey and Ryan Thomas, with Marco Rojas pairing with Chris Wood up front.
The other key decision was around the wing backs. It's believed that Deklan Wynne will start at left back, while Kip Colvey is set to be the surprise inclusion on the right. He has had a mixed career on the big stage, but is one of the fittest and fastest players in the All Whites squad. Colvey, who has won 13 caps, had his best performance against the United States last year, and also featured in four games at the 2016 Nations Cup in Papua New Guinea.
But the 23-year-old struggled against Russia in the Confederations Cup and didn't figure prominently in the recent qualifiers against the Solomons Islands.
Colvey has been preferred ahead of Dane Ingham, who has undoubted potential but is still quite raw, while Storm Roux is believed to be not fully fit.
Winston Reid, Michael Boxall and Tommy Smith will round out the back three, with Reid's experience vital for some of the more inexperienced players around him.
"I think it's just about giving guidance to the younger players in the group and helping them through situations. There's going to be tricky moments out there," said Reid. "I'd be more nervous if we didn't prepare right. We've been working hard. We've done all our homework. That gives me good confidence in the group. It's a game and we have to go out and execute the gameplan and go out and play to our strengths."
Probable All Whites team: Stefan Marinovic - Kip Colvey, Michael Boxall, Winston Reid, Tommy Smith, Deklan Wynne - Clayton Lewis, Michael McGlinchey, Ryan Thomas - Marco Rojas, Chris Wood.