Cyprus Champions Apoel take on Cup holders Apollon in a repeat of last year’s season curtain-raiser for the Super Cup at the Antonis Papadopoulos stadium in Larnaca on Wednesday.
Both managers, Giorgos Donis of Apoel and Sofronis Avgousti of Apollon, said that they want to begin the domestic season with a win but they will also have their minds set on their European fixtures next week and are expected to rest a number of players.
Apoel, who have not beaten their opponents in their last six encounters and lost to them in last year’s cup final, are expected to give Argentinian midfielder Augustin Farias his first start since joining the club a couple of months ago from Chilean team Palestino.
Another summer transfer Mikael Pote, who missed Apoel’s triumph over Romanian side Viitorul through injury last Wednesday, will lead the attack in place of Igor de Camargo while winger Andreas Makris may also get the nod ahead of Vander and Stathis Aloneftis who also featured in that game.
Two enforced changes will be that of goalkeeper Boy Waterman (virus) and defender Zhivko Milanov (calf strain), who will be replaced by Urko Pardo and Costakis Artymatas respectively.
Avgousti will also be forced into making at least two changes with both defender Alef and attacker Andre Skembri out through injury with the former also certain to miss next week’s crucial Europa League game against FC Midtjylland.
Midfield maestro Alex da Silva is expected to sit this one out with summer signings Emilios Zelayia, Jason Silva and Ioannis Hadjivassilis all vying for a place in the starting eleven.
However Avgousti has a host of talented youngsters (Ioannis Pittas, Matija Spoliaric, Marios Styilanou) who are more than capable of competently replacing their more experienced team-mates.
The game kicks-off at 8pm.