Squad: A crunch clash in Wellington

Ernie Merrick has named his provisional squad to face the Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Jets will welcome back Joe Champness, Ivan Vujica and Johnny Koutroumbis from national duty, while Ben Kantarovski has been confirmed fit to play.

OLYROOS: Young Jets help Australia qualify 

A-LEAGUE: Ridenton talks returning home

It will give the experienced Scotsman plenty to consider in the middle of the park with Petratos, Ugarkovic, Ridenton, Cowburn and Thurgate also in the squad.

Ben Kantarovski ACL
Ben Kantarovski returns from a calf injury

The three Olyroos will link up with their teammates in Sydney, before jumping straight on a plane to Wellington where they will be assessed by the Club’s Medical Team.

Ronald Vargas proves the major omission, with the Venezuelan succumbing to a hamstring complaint that has plagued him since the Club’s ACL Qualification campaign.

Jason Hoffman continues his rehabilitation from ankle surgery and is expected to be out of his moon boot in the next week.

Jason Hoffman
Hoffman continues on the road to recovery

Newcastle Jets: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 8.Jair, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 14.Kaine SHEPPARD, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Matt RIDENTON, 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 13.Ivan VUJICA (return from international duty), 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (return from international duty), 24.Joe CHAMPNESS (retirn from international duty)

Outs: 10.Ronald VARGAS (hamstring – 1 week), 11.Kwabena APPIAH (omitted)

Unavailable: 3.Jason HOFFMAN (ankle – TBC)