FIFA World Cup qualifying playoff: New Zealand bolsters attack with return of striker trio

Don't let the plethora of 0-0 scorelines fool you - New Zealand will be bringing some gunpowder to Azteca.

In their stateside swing (and a match in Trinidad & Tobago) last month, the New Zealand All-Whites managed only a solitary goal -- that coming against PDL-side Ventura County Fusion. But lest you think the Kiwi strikers wear lead shoes, think again. The squad was without Chris Wood, Shane Smeltz and Marco Rojas. All three overcame injuries and potentially could take the pitch at the Azteca.

Wood who plies his trade with English Championship side Leicester City FC, has scored in consecutive matches even netting one against Fulham in a recent League Cup match. On the international scene he's made 32 caps, scoring 10 international goals.

Rojas signed with Vfb Stuttgart of the Bundesliga. He started and scored in his first game, a friendly, but shortly thereafter suffered a broken bone in his foot. Rojas has since recovered but the hasn't been able to gain any first team minutes with his club side. He's young and referred to, well by some at least, as the Kiwi Messi. He certainly has impressive speed and technical skills. He slots in as a winger capable of both sides and could really be a nuisance for the El Tri if he's able to get past the wingbacks and into free space.

Smeltz has gone the opposite route. The German-born striker (of New Zealand parents) has played in the A-League, currently Perth Glory, where he's twice won the Golden Boot and an MVP award. He also scored a goal against the Azzuri in the 2010 World Cup.

What do you think? Does this change your opinion of the outcome of the game? Leave your thoughts below!

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