Jets forced into changes

Injury and suspension have forced the Newcastle Jets to make a number of changes heading into Saturday night's Hyundai A-League clash against the Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

Injury and suspension have forced the Newcastle Jets to make a number of changes heading into Saturday night's Hyundai A-League clash against the Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

Key defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley will more than likely miss the match due to a corked thigh he suffered in the 3-2 win over the Gold Coast on Wednesday evening while Ruben Zadkovich is suspended after collecting his fifth yellow card this week.

Striker Francis Jeffers is still sidelined with an ankle injury from last week-s draw with the Glory as is club captain Jobe Wheelhouse, who is enduring a frustrating time away from the pitch with a foot infection.

Brazilian defender Tiago Calvano, who was rested from the midweek clash, will come into the middle of the defence in place of Topor-Stanley while Marko Jesic looks likely to make his return to the run-on side after battling a number of early season injuries.

"He (Jesic) has an unfortunate injury early in the season, and he has taken a bit of time to come back from that but he is a good footballer and he has a lot of technical ability - he just needs to show it on a consistent basis and he might get that opportunity on Saturday," Jets assistant coach Craig Deans said at squad training on Friday.

"He just needs to find his rhythm and find his game fitness again, but he has a good week on the training pitch this week and you need to reward that sometimes.

"Nikolai is struggling a bit and looks like missing out he didn-t take part in the 11 v 11 and a cork is a pretty hard thing to recover from quickly so we probably rest him."

Ali Abbas, who is celebrating after gaining his Australian citizenship, has also been selected in the 18-man squad while youngsters Jacob Pepper and Ben Kantarovski look likely to continue their midfield partnership for the Jets after a solid showing against the Gold Coast.

"The third game in a week you need to use your whole squad," Deans said. "Ali is more than capable and there is an opportunity there he just needs to put his hand up and take it."

"Both Pepper and Kantarovski should be proud of their performance (against the Gold Coast). It is a good starting point and both have a lot of work still to go, so let-s not get carried away with it - but it is a good starting point."

Deans added that the pair needed to be on their game to stop the Victory side who will be desperate to get their season back on track after three losses in a row.

"Regardless of where they are they have some very good players, and there is never a good time to play the Victory, especially down in Melbourne," said Deans.

"When you face a team that has Archie Thompson, Harry Kewell and Carlos Hernandez we need to be aware of that and it is not just the boys in the back it is the guys in the midfield and the people up front making sure that there is no easy possession for these guys.

"If we can pressure them into making mistakes and not giving the opportunities to the front guys then you will go a long way into getting a result."