Squad: Koutroumbis a chance for Sunday in Melbourne

Ernie Merrick has named his 18-man squad for the clash with City on Sunday night, and there is one big surprise in.

Full-back, Johnny Koutroumbis is a big chance of making a first appearance this season after overcoming a massive battle with illness.

The youngster, who is preferred by Merrick on the flanks of the defence, will provide some healthy competition to his fellow fullbacks ahead of the trip to Melbourne.

READ: Five things to know for Sunday

Also in line to make a return and provide some healthy competition is midfielder, Matt Ridenton, who has recovered from the calf injury which kept him sidelined for the past two gameweeks.

It means that once again, Merrick will have to choose two of Ridenton, Ben Kantarovski, Steven Ugarkovic or Nick Cowburn to start in the midfield.

Ronnie Vargas Melbourne City
Ronnie is in.

After picking up injuries at Spotless Stadium last weekend, both Daniel Georgievski and Jair have proved their fitness and were named in the squad by Merrick.

Ronnie Vargas, who also reported sore after the win last Friday night, is in and will be expected to play a big role at AAMI Park.

While there are still a number of players unavailable, Merrick is nearing closer to having a full contingent available. Roy O’Donovan has only three matches left of his suspension to serve, while Kaine Sheppard is expected to miss only two more with a foot injury.

Newcastle Jets: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 8.Jair, 10.Ronald VARGAS, 11.Mitch AUSTIN, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (return from illness), 23.Matt RIDENTON (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (suspension ­–­­­­ 3 rounds), 14.Kaine SHEPPARD (foot ­– 2 weeks), 24.Joe CHAMPNESS (foot ­­­– TBC)