Merrick's welcome headache

Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick may need to find room in his in-form outfit for three returning stars as Victory readies for a Hyundai A-League 'Dome-coming'.

Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick may need to find room in his in-form outfit for three returning stars as Victory readies for a Hyundai A-League 'Dome-coming'.

Veteran striker Archie Thompson, midfielder Nick Ward and No.1 goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos are expected to be fit for Friday night's blockbuster against Newcastle in Melbourne.

Thompson has thrown off the affects of an ankle injury picked up on Olympic duty in Beijing while Ward (calf) is fit again also.

Theoklitos, who injured himself in a freak accident at training last week and missed the 4-2 win over Wellington on Sunday, said he was a chance to play.

Defender Rody Vargas said Merrick had an unenviable job selecting the side for Melbourne's first home clash of the campaign at Telstra Dome.

"I'd hate to be in Ernie's shoes at the moment," Vargas told Sportal on Tuesday.

"Archie looks like he is back on track and 'Wardy' is back so it's a good headache to have."

"The side is very strong this year. We have got a lot of depth, it speaks volumes for the team this year."

Thompson is expected to make an appearance off the bench with Brazilian recruit Ney Fabiano likely to again partner Danny Allsopp up front.

Vargas said while a three-pronged attack may not start on Friday night, it would be a haunting prospect for opposition defenders.

"(Fabiano) has been good because he helps Danny Allsopp a lot. He is kind of like Danny. He is very big and very strong and takes a lot of the workload off Danny with the bigger defenders."

"He's also very technical and can hold the ball up so he's a mixture between Archie and Danny which is a good thing."

"I definitely can see the three of them playing together."

"They are different types of players so there is a good mix. They are not all the same so I would be very wary if I was any A-League defender playing against those three."

"If Archie is 70 or 80 percent fit I would say he is a good chance to play a part in the game."

Vargas himself did not train on Tuesday due to a 'twisted knee', but expects to be in the starting side.

"It was just precautionary. In the old days if you were injured you didn't train, but we are lucky enough now with the expert staff and facilities that we can be in the gym or pool."