Injured Jets striker Katie Stengel looks set to play against three-time defending champions Melbourne City on Sunday at McDonald Jones Stadium but fellow American Arin Wright appears in doubt.
Stengel rolled her ankle in a tackle at training on Monday but she moved freely at Friday’s session at Ray Watt Oval after staying off her feet on Tuesday and Wednesday.
She tested her ankle while working away from the group alongside Wright, who had her right upper leg strapped and was restricted in her movement.
Stengel later joined the squad in small-sided games but Wright was rested because of hamstring tightness.
Wright made a surprise return to the Jets just days before last week’s 1-0 loss to Brisbane Roar and started.
Jets co-captain and Matildas star Emily Van Egmond said the squad had trained well since the disappointing performance and they were confident of covering any losses in personnel.
“Whoever plays, everyone knows what their roles are and what they have to do and what they have to bring onto the field,” Van Egmond said. “We have full confidence and full faith in whoever takes the field.”
The loss to Brisbane left Newcastle sixth on six points, two points ahead of City, heading into round six.
The Jets have never beaten City, who this year boast Matildas Lydia Williams, Elise Kellond-Knight, Kyah Simon, Tameka Butt and Steph Catley, who is returning from knee surgery in the 2.30pm game. City also have former Newcastle players Rhali Dobson and Adriana Jones in attack.
“They’re a star-studded squad but in saying that, this year it’s proven that any team can beat anyone on any given day and I think if we look to go out on the weekend and just play to how we can play and take what we have done this week at training out onto the field, I think it will give ourselves the best chance of getting the three points,” Van Egmond said.
“This year you’ve seen across the board it’s obviously a very competitive and challenging W-League season so far and we’re nearly halfway, so this game is going to be super important for us and we definitely need to get the win.”