Football: All Whites to face old foes Peru in warm-up for high-stakes World Cup playoff

The All Whites will play an international friendly against Peru as a warm-up for their crucial intercontinental World Cup playoff.

New Zealand will take on the South Americans on June 6 (NZ time) at Barcelona's RCDE Stadium, home of La Liga side RCD Espanyol.

The match will be followed by a game against another national team, yet to be confirmed, which will be played behind closed doors.

Both will serve as crucial preparation for the All Whites' showdown with Costa Rica at Doha on June 15, with the winners advancing to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in November. A venue and kickoff time for the playoff are yet to be announced.

New Zealand last faced Peru in the intercontinental playoffs for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, battling to a 0-0 draw in the first leg at Wellington, before losing 2-0 in the return leg at Lima.

"These two fixtures are exactly the type of games we need to be playing ahead of the Intercontinental playoff," said All Whites coach Danny Hay. 

"Peru are a top side, ranked No. 22 in the world, but we need these kind of challenges, if we want to compete at this level. With them playing in the other intercontinental playoff, against either Australia or UAE, they are the perfect side to be facing. 

"It is also really good we have a warm-up game in Doha, so we have the opportunity to get used to the conditions. 

"Now is when we need to put everything we have been working on into action. We want to do everything we can to get the team ready for the game against Costa Rica and ultimately qualify for the FIFA World Cup."

Peru failed to secure automatic qualification for this year's World Cup and will face the winners of Australia and United Arab Emirates in the other playoff game on June 14.

"The intercontinental playoff is a huge game for football in Aotearoa, so getting the build-up right is important to give our team the best opportunity to qualify," said NZ Football chief executive Andrew Pragnell.

"We have put a lot of thought into how to best prepare the team, and feel these games represent two good and challenging fixtures. 

"The team are one game away from returning to the men’s World Cup for only the third time. We want to give them the best possible chance to do so."