Little change for Victory

Melbourne Victory is set to stick with much the same starting line-up as it had in its 4-2 win over Wellington Phoenix for Friday's match against the Newcastle Jets, with goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos likely to be the only inclusion.

Melbourne Victory is set to stick with much the same starting line-up as it had in its 4-2 win over Wellington Phoenix for Friday's match against the Newcastle Jets, with goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos likely to be the only inclusion.

Coach Ernie Merrick sees no real need to fix what ain't broke, which means Archie Thompson is likely to come off the bench while Theoklitos, the first-choice stopper, comes in for understudy Mitch Langerak.

Merrick said he has been pleased with Theoklitos' efforts at training this week, which have shown he is over the ankle injury which saw him miss the trip to Wellington.

"That's the second training session he's got through without holding back. It looks like he's going to come back into goal," he said.

While Thompson may be the Hyundai A-League's all-time leading scorer, Victory will be patient with its marquee star who is coming back from an ankle injury picked up during his recent Olympic campaign.

"My feeling on Archie is that 100 percent he'll be in the squad," he said. "We won 4-2 last week, there won't be many changes to the starting XI and Archie hasn't played a lot of football. It's not always wise to start someone in a situation where the game is very intense at the beginning. To come off the bench would be pretty good."

"I think that the two strikers were the two outstanding players in last week. If we decide to bring Archie on, we can always play with three strikers with Carlos behind, that would be a very attacking force. I relish the thought."

There is positive news on Rody Vargas, who picked up a leg injury in the wet and wild clash with the Phoenix. The defender has trained solidly this week and will play against the Jets.

"He looks pretty good Rody. He jarred his knee in a tackle, midway through the first half. But there doesn't seem to be any major damage. The ankle took the brunt of it. The ankle is what swelled up. That can be easily taped and he's got through training without any problems," he said.

However, Nick Ward's comeback from a calf injury is likely to be delayed until after the international break with Victory unlikely to risk the fitness of the midfielder.

"Wardy, I was just talking to he and the physiotherapist there, and we'll finalise it later this afternoon. Not worth the risk that this is the first time this year we've had all 22 players in the squad train. I don't so the point in risking a calf injury, which can be quite niggly. We've got a week off after this, so maybe it's worth leaving it another week," Merrick said.