The European adventures for two Cypriot teams begin today as AEK and AEL face two sides from Gibraltar, namely Lincoln FC and St Joseph’s FC respectively in the first qualifying round of the Europa League.
AEK, who take on Lincoln at the Arena stadium in Larnaca, will field a largely familiar line-up to last season, as just two players have left the side.
The Larnaca team will be looking for a comfortable win on their home ground so as to make the return away game a formality.
Their star signing, 29-year-old Nacho Cases, who made 177 appearances for Sporting Gijon in the Primera Division, is unlikely to make the squad as he has just a couple of practice sessions under his belt.
After a long and arduous 13-hour journey, AEL reached Faro where they will meet St Joseph’s at the Algarve stadium.
AEL’s spokesperson Theodoros Antoniou admitted that his team were favourites to go through to the next round even though they were not completely ready and that some of their new signings had to be left behind to train as they would have been unable to play.
This is the first time that St Joseph’s will be competing in a European competition.
Both games will be televised (Cytavision) with AEK’s clash starting at 8pm and AEL’s at 9.45pm.