PREVIEW: Expect ‘tweaks’ to All Whites’ starting line-up against Tunisia

All Whites head coach Darren Bazeley says there’ll be “tweaks” to the starting line-up for Wednesday’s international match with Tunisia.

“I think that’s fair with the broad squad we have and the turnaround in between (games),” he told a media briefing ahead of the match at Cairo International Stadium.

“(There) won’t be massive changes because we’re pretty settled in a few areas.”

Bazeley said team selection would follow the final training session in Cairo.

In Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Egypt, the All Whites made no substitutions till the 70th minute.

Asked if he might turn to his bench sooner against Tunisia, Bazeley said: “I think every game is different. We felt like we were doing some good stuff in certain areas, and that we were pretty comfortable within the game, but sometimes you can make changes and it unsettles the performance.”

Bazeley said the decision-making required a balance between being as effective as possible on the pitch but balancing that with providing opportunities for players.

Players who had no game time against Egypt were goalkeepers Alex Paulsen and Oli Sail, uncapped teenage Lukas Kelly-Heald, Tommy Smith and Wellington Phoenix captain Alex Rufer.

Defender Finn Surman stayed on the bench but a head knock in training has forced his withdrawal from the squad.

READ MORE: All Whites defender Finn Surman ruled out of Tunisia match >>>>

Meanwhile, Tunisia have announced their team will play in white strip, suggesting the New Zealand side will take the field in their black kit.

The Tunisians have confirmed defensive midfielder Hajj Mahmoud has been left out of the matchday squad after an MRI scan confirmed an injury would prevent him from playing.

How to watch

Wednesday’s match will be streamed live and free by FIFA+.

READ MORE: Penalty sinks All Whites in tournament opener against hosts Egypt >>>>

READ MORE: Coach Darren Bazeley’s post-match reaction after All Whites loss to Egypt >>>>

WATCH: Highlights from Egypt’s 1-0 win against New Zealand >>>>


Game to be played on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 (NZT)

Play-off for third place

New Zealand v Tunisia
Cairo International Stadium, Cairo, kick-off 9am (NZT)


Egypt v Croatia
New Administrative Capital Stadium, Cairo, kick-off 9am (NZT)

New Zealand


Max Crocombe (5 Caps) Burton Albion FC, England
Alex Paulsen (0 Caps) Wellington Phoenix FC, Aotearoa New Zealand
Oli Sail (9 Caps) Perth Glory FC, Australia


Tyler Bindon (5 Caps) Reading FC, England
Michael Boxall (48 Caps) Minnesota United FC, United States
Liberato Cacace (21 Caps) Empoli FC, Italy
Dane Ingham (14 Caps) Newcastle Jets, Australia
Lukas Kelly-Heald* (0 Caps) Wellington Phoenix FC, Aotearoa New Zealand
Nando Pijnaker (19 Caps) Sligo Rovers, Republic of Ireland
Tommy Smith (51 Caps) Macarthur FC, Australia


Matthew Garbett (21 Caps) NAC Breda, Netherlands
Clayton Lewis (26 Caps) Macarthur FC, Australia
Callum McCowatt (18 Caps) Silkeborg IF, Denmark
Ben Old (3 Caps) Wellington Phoenix FC, Aotearoa New Zealand
Sarpreet Singh (13 Caps) FC Hansa Rostock, Germany
Marko Stamenic (20 Caps) FK Crvena zvezda, Serbia
Alex Rufer (8 caps) Wellington Phoenix FC, Aotearoa New Zealand


Kosta Barbarouses (55 Caps) Wellington Phoenix FC, Aotearoa New Zealand
Elijah Just (21 Caps) AC Horsens, Denmark
Max Mata (10 Caps) Sligo Rovers, Republic of Ireland
Ben Waine (12 Caps) Plymouth Argyle FC, England

*Debut call-up


Tim Payne (34 caps), Wellington Phoenix FC, Aotearoa New Zealand (injury)
Chris Wood (74 Caps) Nottingham Forest, England (injury)
Joe Bell (18 Caps) Viking FK, Norway (injury)
Finn Surman (1 Caps) Wellington Phoenix FC, Aotearoa New Zealand (injury)



Aymen Dahmen
Bechir Ben Said
Mouez Hassen
A.Allah Memiche


Wajdi Kechrida
Ghaith Zaalouni
Yassine Meriah
Dylan Bronn
Oussama Haddadi
Hamza jlassi
Alaa Ghram
Ali Abdi
Amine Cherni


Samy Chouchane
Ellyes Skhiri
Aissa Laidouni
M.A Ben Romdhane
Houssem Tka
Hamza Rafia


Elias Achouri
Seifallah Ltaief
Elias Saad
Seifeddine Jaziri
Haythem Jouini
Bassem Srarfi


Hajj Mahmoud (injury)

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