Squad: Merrick names players for crucial clash

Ernie Merrick has named his squad of players to take on the Wanderers this Friday at ANZ Stadium, in what’s shaping up as a crucial fixture for both sides.

Sitting outside the top six and with a gap to bridge on Adelaide and the Phoenix, the Jets will be looking to turn their fortunes around against a Wanderers side that has struggled to find results so far this season.

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The Jets squad is almost at full strength – with only Joe Champness put on ice this week due to a tight hamstring – giving Merrick plenty of options across the park.

Johnny Koutroumbis returns from some scheduled medical treatment that saw him miss last weekend’s trip to Perth, and is said to be feeling well following the final stages of his cancer treatment.

Johnny Koutroumbis
Koutroumbis is back after missing last week's clash in Perth

Ben Kantarovski is also back in the fold following a groin injury, while Merrick has already confirmed that Ronald Vargas and Dimi Petratos will both be in his starting XI.

Newcastle Jets squad:

1.Glen MOSS (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 8.Jair, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Ronald VARGAS, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 14.Kaine SHEPPARD, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS), 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (return from injury), 16.Nick COWBURN (promoted), 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (return from medical treatment)

Outs: 11.Mitch AUSTIN (omitted)

Unavailable: Nil