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Australian Football: Western ace set for game 350

Western United coach John Aloisi has confirmed veteran star Nikolai Topor-Stanley will make his 350th A-League appearance against Melbourne City on Saturday.

Western are priced at 16/1 to win the A-League minor premiership this season and will be looking to build on their solid start to the season when they face the reigning premiers.

Huge milestone

Topor-Stanley will now become just the second player in the league's history to make 350 appearances when he slots in to the defence to replace the suspended Tomoki Imai.

Imai picked up a red card in the loss to Wellington Phoenix last week and Aloisi says it is fitting that Topor-Stanley is able to reach the landmark by starting the game.

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Aloisi rules out complacency

"He will slot in to the centre of defence and look, Nikolai's been great whenever we've called upon him. He's played well," Aloisi said. "He's got so much experience, obviously with 350 (appearances).

"Isn't it much better playing your 350th from the start and then coming in as a sub?

"It's good for him. I'm sure he's excited about it but with all his experience I'm sure he won't be too over-excited.

"He'll be ready and focusing on performing well and maybe celebrating with the kids on the pitch after the game."

Tough assignment

Melbourne City may be missing one or two key players for the game but Aloisi says such is their strength in depth it will not make much of a difference.

"Every time you play City it's going to be tough, no matter who's there," Aloisi added.

"We saw that last year in the grand final. They were missing their national team players and they still were able to win and win it well."

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