BALLARAT Red Devils will be boosted by the return of captain Charlie King and important defender Daniel Tinker for Saturday's crucial match against Northcote City.
The McDonalds Reds will attempt to extend their winning record over last year's state league champions in round 16 of the National Premier Leagues Victoria at Morshead Park.
Red Devils player manager James Robinson said his side is benefiting from a dwindling injury list and the friendly hit out against Melbourne City.
"We've got a decent 16 players available (for selection) now, which is fantastic," Robinson said.
"There's a lot of experience and depth back in the squad and we took a lot out of the Melbourne City game.
"It was very beneficial for us and put us back on track for what we want in the rest of the season."
Ballarat sits in second last place on the NPLV ladder with four wins, while Northcote has recovered from a horror start to climb into ninth spot on five wins.
Red Devils supporters would have liked what they saw from forward recruits Deng Aguek and Paul Harvey last week.
Aguek has already recorded three goals from his first two games, while Harvey's pressure in the attacking third was noticeable in his debut performance.
Robinson said the 3-0 victory over Goulburn Valley in round 15 was one of his sides best showings for the season.
"It was a solid 90-minute game," he said.
"Last week was a massive step from playing a good 70-75 minutes to putting it together for 90 minutes."
Ballarat v Northcote City
at Morshead Park on Saturday, 3pm
EXPECTED LINE-UP: Jordan Franken, Charlie King, Steven Thomson, Daniel O'Donnell, David King, Liam Harding, Sean Harding, Deng Aguek, Paul Harvey, Simon Murphy, Nelson Salvatore, James Robinson (coach); subs, Aaron Romein, Daniel Tinker, Daniel Firth, Bolish Salvatore.
ROUND 15 LADDER: South Melbourne 40 points, Oakleigh 34, Heidelberg United 27, Bentleigh 26, Hume City 22, Green Gully 22, Pascoe Vale 21, Dandenong 21, Northcote City 18, Werribee City 17, Melbourne 16, Port Melbourne 15, Ballarat 13, Goulburn 5.