All Whites target win against Belarus in final warm-up match ahead of Confederations Cup

All Whites goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic (Getty Images)
All Whites goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic (Getty Images)

All Whites goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic has labelled his side a "working team" ahead of their friendly against Belarus, suggesting they will adopt a physical, attritional game plan.         

The Kiwis will take on the Belarusians in Minsk on Tuesday (NZT) in their final warm-up for the Confederations Cup in Russia, which begins on June 18.              

They will play hosts Russia, Mexico and European champions Portugal at the eight-team event.

Marinovic, who plies his trade for German outfit SpVgg Unterhaching, told reporters New Zealand would arrive at the Cup with plenty of heart.     

They are expected to line up in coach Anthony Hudson's preferred 3-5-2 formation, with the 25-year-old Marinovic handed the gloves ahead of veteran Glen Moss.              

But first, they have to take care of the world No.83 Belarusians, for whom ex- Arsenal playmaker Alexander Hleb has not been summoned.           

"We're a working team so we won't give up, we'll always fight to the end - that's one of our biggest advantages," Marinovic said on Saturday.            

"Every friendly is in preparation for the next big match and obviously that next match will be the (Confederations Cup) opener, so it'll be a test."            

The All Whites will open their Confeds account against Russia, who held tournament frontrunners Chile to a 1-1 draw in their pre-Cup friendly in Moscow on Friday.       

Nevertheless, Marinovic - who labelled Krasnodar-based target man Fyodor Smolov as Russia's greatest threat - said his side would be ready for the hosts.          

"We've been analysing them, picked out a couple players that are key - we know how they're going to play," the Auckland-born Marinovic said.

"I expect a very physical match, very dynamic football. 

"They'll probably be as physical as we are up front, and at the back.        

"We think highly of ourselves and want to cause an upset - I'm always ready."  

NZN 

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