2 Nov 2017

Wood 'very strong' chance of Burnley return

7:37 am on 2 November 2017

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson will be breathing a sigh of relief ahead of their looming World Cup playoff against Peru.

All Whites captain Chris Wood and New Caledonia's Cedric Sansot clash in Kone on 15 November 2016.

All Whites captain Chris Wood and New Caledonia's Cedric Sansot clash in Kone. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Striker Chris Wood is expected to play for English Premier League side Burnley in their match against Southampton this weekend.

A key player in the All Whites starting side, Wood missed Burnley's last outing - a one nil win over Newcastle - due to a hamstring injury he suffered in the side's loss to Manchester City.

But Burnley manager Sean Dyche said Wood, who has scored three Premier League goals since his $30 million move from Leeds United, was close to being in the squad for the win over Newcastle and is in line to return this weekend.

"Chris was close, it was a joint call, between ourselves, the medical team and myself," Dyche said of Wood's absence.

"He's on the grass, moving well, but you almost want them overfit after an injury, so you have real strength in the injury.

"I think he's got a stronger, not definite, but a very strong chance for the weekend."

Wood has played 54 times for the All Whites, netting 24 goals.

The 25-year-old has captained the national team 13 times in the past three years when regular skipper Winston Reid has been unavailable.

The first match in the home-and-away playoff tie between the All Whites and Peru is in Wellington on Saturday next week.

The return leg is in the Peruvian capital of Lima five days later.

The winner advances to next year's World Cup in Russia.