Round two of the Cyprus football championship this weekend sees another depleted fixture list as the games involving Cyprus’ two remaining European representatives, Apoel and Apollon, against AEL and Omonia respectively, have been postponed to a later date.
Without these two crunch games, the most intriguing fixture is that between Anorthosis and first division newcomers Alki Oroklinis.
Anorthosis did not get off to a very good start in their opening match against Nea Salamina as they were held to a 1-1 draw. Their Israeli coach Ron Levy admitted after the game that his recently assembled team, with 13 new faces, needs time to gel and the fans should be patient.
On the other hand Alki looked impressive in their opener away to Ethnikos and should have won the game much more easily than what the slender 1-0 scoreline suggests.
In Achna, Ethnikos take on Pafos FC in a game that is considered a six-pointer despite the very early stages of the championship.
Ethnikos, having lost their first game, have an excellent chance to get off the mark against Pafos, one of the teams tipped for a quick return to the second division. Their coach Yiotis Engomitis has all players at his disposal.
Pafos began the season’s preparations amid a host of internal problems. They sacked their coach Ioannou in July and his replacement Lucas Elsner had just over a month to get to know his players.
However there are some experienced players in his squad in Goulon, Fylactou and Stavrou and goalkeeper Koprivec, and along with youngsters Artem Filimonov and Erik Janza they should form the backbone of Elsner’s team.
Pafos’ first game against Apollon was postponed.
Despite the disappointment of their midweek European exit, AEK should prove too strong against first division newcomers Olympiacos at the Arena stadium while Aris and Nea Salamina will battle for the points in what is expected to be an evenly-contested game at the Tsirion stadium in Limassol.
In the final weekend game Doxa entertain Ermis Aradippou at the Makarion.
The visitors, who topped the ‘new players’ list, made a couple of notable signings in Arsenal’s former hardman Emmanuel Frimpong and Juvhel Tsoumou who at one stage in his career played for German side Eintracht Frankfurt.
Saturday August 25th: Ethnikos Achnas vs Pafos FC (19.00), Aris Nea Salamina (20.00)
Sunday: AEK vs Olympiakos (18.00), Doxa vs Ermis (19.00), Alki vs Anorthosis (20.00)
Postponed: Apollon vs Omonia and Apoel vs AEL