All Whites announced for China international

Last updated 17:05 07/11/2012

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Ricki Herbert has kept faith with the squad who have delivered four wins from four starts in World Cup qualifying.

The All Whites will aim to keep momentum on the Road to Brazil in their international match with China in Shanghai next week.  If selected, Leo Bertos and skipper Ryan Nelsen are poised to make their 50th 'A' international appearances in the match.

All of Herbert's overseas professionals have been called up for the match although China-based striker Chris Killen's domestic season has finished and he will not travel due to personal commitments.

The only injury concern surrounds striker Shane Smeltz who has been sidelined with a hamstring strain since the All Whites 3-0 win over Tahiti in Christchurch last month.

Smeltz's goal in Papeete took him to outright second in the all-time goal scorers list with 23 goals, while Chris Wood and Marco Rojas are in good goal scoring form for their respective clubs.  Wood has scored five in his last three matches for Millwall, while Rojas is joint leader in the A-League golden boot race with four goals.

Michael McGlinchey has continued his good form from his last All Whites outing with his Central Coast Mariners side and was influential in their 7-2 mauling of Sydney FC over the weekend.

Herbert believes continuity is paramount to success and now has significant experience to call on for All Whites internationals.

"We haven't made any personnel changes but we may look to tinker our formation or try one or two new things in this match," said Herbert.

"We've got good experience in the group now with Ryan and Leo set to make 50 appearances.  Behind them we've got a group of players like Lochhead, Smeltz and Killen who are approaching that milestone as well, with Ivan [Vicelich] nearing three figures," Herbert added.

The China match is the last international for the year, with the All Whites due to play New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands in March 2013.

No decision has been made on activity during the FIFA window scheduled on Waitangi Day, so Herbert is keen to get his charges together before the campaign defining March fixtures.

"This could be the last time we get the group together before the last Oceania matches so it's important to maintain that familiarity with each other," said Hebert.

New Zealand currently leads the four team Oceania qualifying group with the winner progressing to a two-legged intercontinental playoff against a North and Central American nation for a place at the 2014 FIFA World CupTM.

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New Zealand Squad for China international match:

Goalkeepers

1-Mark PASTON (Wellington Phoenix)
12-Glen MOSS (Wellington Phoenix)

Defenders

2-Winston REID (West Ham United, ENG)
3-Tony LOCHHEAD (Wellington Phoenix)
4-Ben SIGMUND (Wellington Phoenix)
5-Tommy SMITH (Ipswich Town, ENG)
6-Ryan NELSEN (Captain / Queen's Park Rangers, ENG)

Midfielders

7-Leo BERTOS (Wellington Phoenix)
8-Michael MCGLINCHEY (Central Coast Mariners, AUS)
13-Dan KEAT (Los Angeles Galaxy, USA)
15-Ivan VICELICH (Auckland City)
18-Tim PAYNE (Blackburn Rovers, ENG)

Forwards

9-Shane SMELTZ (Perth Glory, AUS)
10-Chris KILLEN (Chongqing, CHN)
11-Marco ROJAS (Melbourne Victory, AUS)
16-Jeremy BROCKIE (Wellington Phoenix)
17-Kosta BARBAROUSES (Panathinaikos, GRE)
20-Chris WOOD (West Bromwich Albion, ENG)

 

- NZF MEDIA

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