The All Whites coach Ricki Herbert has gone with Ivan Vicelich in the midfield for tonight's World Cup opener against Slovakia in Rustenberg.
The 33-year-old central defender moves up as Herbert looks to find a suitable replacement for the injured Tim Brown.
Vicelich played some time in the position during last week's training match against Chile and Herbert says he's played there enough before for him to be confident in his ability.
Vicelich will partner 36-year-old Simon Elliott, Leio Bertos and Tony Lochhead in the midfield while the back three are Winston Reid, Ryan Nelsen and Tommy Smith, and Rory Fallon, Shane Smeltz and Chris Killen are up front.
Meanwhile Brown, who required shoulder surgery following the warmup match against Australia last month, is expected to be available for the next two group matches against Italy and Paraguay.