Leaders AEK take on unbeaten Apollon

Leaders AEK take on unbeaten Apollon

first_imgThe clash between leaders AEK and fifth-placed Apollon is by far the most important fixture this weekend in Round 11 of the Cyprus football championship. Second-placed Anorthosis have a seemingly east home game against Olympiakos while the two Nicosia big guns Apoel and Omonia have tricky ties against Pafos FC and last but one Aris respectively.AEK coach Imanol Idiakez heaped praise on the Limassol side saying that they are quality team, proving this not only in the domestic championship but also in the Europa League.He remained confident though that his team has what it takes to take the three points and inflict a first defeat of the season on Apollon.For yet another time he stressed the importance of a packed ground and urged the fans to turn up in numbers as they did against Apoel.Ivan Triscovski is back in the reckoning for a place in the starting eleven and should Idiakez decide to start the game with the Macedonian striker then he will almost certainly revert to a back three.Apollon come into the game at the back of an impressive win over Doxa last weekend and a commendable home draw against Italian side Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday.Apollon coach Sofronis Avgousti is fortunate enough to have a quality squad and may decide to rest players that featured in the Europa League despite the importance of the game. He did this against the Italians where his two regular strikers, Anton Maglica and Andre Skembri were named as substitutes.However Zander Santana, Apollon’s towering left-back, is expected to be restored to the side after missing out on the last couple of games through injury.Anorthosis will be favourites to take the three points against Olympiakos but they will need to improve in the final third of the field especially against a team that plays with a packed defence and tries to surprise their opponents on the break.The Famagusta team will be without their Ivorian striker Sekou Cisse while captain Joao Victor and the charismatic Rubens Rayo both face a race against time to be fit for the clash.Olympiakos were dealt a massive blow when their Cypriot striker Chrysovalantis Kapartis was ruled out until the end of the year with a broken arm but their manager Chrysis Michael has a way of getting the best out of his players and will make Anorthosis work hard for the three points.Apoel will be hoping to put their league woes behind them and kick-start their season with a win over third placed Pafos FC in their first home game of the season in front of their own fans.Apoel’s injury list has shortened to just four, with Lorenzo Embecilio, Tomas Oar and Facundo Bertoglio back in the reckoning after a lengthy period on the sidelines.Pafos’ young Slovenian coach Luca Elsner is confident that his side can cause another upset, this time against the champions, even though he may be without his influential midfielder Herold Goulon. Pafos have raised a few eyebrows with their performances this season as they sit proudly in third place with AEL.AEL have lacked consistency so far this season but they should prove too strong for first division newcomers Alki in Limassol.Saturday: Anorthosis vs Olympiakos (5.00), Doxa vs Ethnikos (6.00), Aris vs Omonia (7.00)Sunday: Salamina vs Ermis & Apoel vs Pafos FC (4.00) AEL vs Alki (5.00), AEK vs Apollon (6.00)last_img

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