Killen to start in midfield for All Whites

All Whites coach Ricki Herbert has opted for Chris Killen to start in central midfield against New Caledonia in Dunedin tomorrow night. Photo / Getty Images.
All Whites coach Ricki Herbert has opted for Chris Killen to start in central midfield against New Caledonia in Dunedin tomorrow night. Photo / Getty Images.

All Whites coach Ricki Herbert has opted for Chris Killen to start in central midfield against New Caledonia in Dunedin tomorrow night as he rejigs his side because of suspensions and unavailability.

Herbert is short of options to play in a three-man defence with Ryan Nelsen having retired, Tony Lochhead out with a fractured leg and Ben Sigmund suspended. Andrew Durante also won't be risked against New Caledonia because he hasn't got a definitive clearance from Fifa, meaning Ivan Vicelich will slot into a back three.

Vicelich might have otherwise played in central midfield alongside Michael McGlinchey but Herbert has opted for Killen who filled in at holding midfield with mixed results during last year's failed Oceania Nations Cup campaign. Tim Payne and Dan Keat would have been other options but they will start on the bench.

Mark Paston will start in goal, with a knee injury ruling out his club mate Glen Moss this morning. Jacob Spoonley has been called into the squad as cover for the matches with New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands.

Leo Bertos and Jeremy Brockie will start on the flanks with Chris Wood, Shane Smeltz and Marco Rojas leading the frontline.

A win will see the All Whites progress to November's intercontinental playoff with the fourth-best team from Central and North America for a place at next year's World Cup in Brazil

New Zealand side to play New Caledonia in their World Cup qualifying match at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, tomorrow (7.45pm): (3-4-3) Mark Paston; Winston Reid (c), Ivan Vicelich, Tommy Smith; Leo Bertos, Michael McGlinchey, Chris Killen, Jeremy Brockie; Marco Rojas, Shane Smeltz, Chris Wood. Substitutes (from): Jacob Spoonley, Dan Keat, Ian Hogg, Kosta Barbarouses, Tim Payne.

- APNZ

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