All Whites fighting fit for crunch Peru clash


Striker Chris Wood is poised to return to New Zealand's starting XI for their World Cup play-off clash in Peru but defender Storm Roox has been ruled out.

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson says Roux hasn't recovered sufficiently from an ankle injury to make the long-haul trip.

Otherwise the team had pulled up well from Saturday's scoreless draw at Westpac Stadium.

"We're all in a good place. We have a couple we just need to monitor, although they're not serious," Hudson said on Sunday.

Central Coast Mariners fullback Roux was kicked on the ankle he had previously broken and hasn't managed to shake off the after-effects of the knock.

"He had a problem coming into camp, it was the reason he didn't play yesterday, and he's not going to be fit for Wednesday," Hudson said.

A replacement won't be called in with Hudson saying he has the players in his 23-strong squad to cover Roux's absence.

Skipper Winston Reid, who played a huge role in New Zealand's backline, also took a knock on Saturday, but Hudson is confident he'll have no problem backing up at Estadio Nacional in Lima on Thursday (AEDT).

"It wasn't muscular, it was just a knock," he said.

"This morning we've had a good recovery session, we've had a good session with the subs.

"Now what we need to do in the next couple of days is make sure we do everything possible to get our best team on the pitch."

Hudson has already said he's confident that Wood will be fit to start in Lima, the Burnley striker improving rapidly as he works his way back to full fitness from an injury he picked up three weeks ago.

"We've planned it right, we've got past this first part, and now Woodsy's going to have a few more days under his belt," Hudson said.

"I don't feel any pressure, I'm going to pick the best team we have on the day and I'm confident Woodsy's going to be in that team."

Defender Tommy Smith, subbed off with a calf tweak in the 68th minute on Saturday, is also looking good to start, Hudson said.

Source AAP