Boogaard has been on the sidelines since injuring his knee against Sydney FC in early March, with the initial diagnosis ruling him out for the remainder of the season.

Vargas has battled injuries throughout the 2017/18 season, suffering a groin strain in Newcastle’s Round 26 loss to Perth Glory.

“The boys keep surprising me,” Merrick said. “They’re nearly as tough as rugby league players!"

“They’ll definitely be part of the squad,” Merrick said. “I’d suspect they’ll play some part in the game.

“The only one out is (Ben) Kantarovski. Ronny is looking good, Nigel is looking very good.

“This is their second week of fairly hard training now. We’ll ease off and taper for Friday night.”

English midfielder Wayne Brown is also in contention after recovering from a calf injury.

Merrick declined to indicate whether Boogaard or Vargas would make the starting XI but didn’t rule them out.

“We know the formation and the game style we’ll play,” he said.,

“They’ve all got a chance to step up and be a part of that starting XI.

“There won’t be too many changes from the last game when we scored eight goals against the Mariners but there’s always places up for grabs.

“It’s good to see both Nigel and Ronny training and playing so well.”

The Jets had lost three matches on the bounce before their final round 8-2 win over Central Coast which Merrick said was what they needed.

“Most importantly we were playing good balls forward in behind the defence and we had numbers there,” he said.

“We scored eight goals and it probably could have been 10. It’s exactly what we needed leading into this game against Melbourne City on Friday night.”