One point separates the top four teams as the Cyprus football championship enters the final six matches of the regular season with yet another big game, this time in Limassol where leaders Anorthosis face third-placed Apollon.
AEK and Apoel have relatively easy games against Aris and Doxa Katokopias respectively, while at the wrong end of the table, Ethnikos Achnas need a win against fellow strugglers Nea Salamina if they are to have any chance of avoiding automatic relegation.
Anorthosis travel to the Tsirion stadium in Limassol clearly buoyed by last week’s impressive win against fellow title challengers AEK and will be looking to inflict a first defeat of the season on Apollon.
Their supporters have snapped up in record time their ticket allocation of just over 1,300 despite the decision by their organised supporters club to stay away from the game due to the Cyprus Football Association’s decision to allocate tickets for visiting fans through its website.
Ronny Levy, the Famagusta team’s coach, will wait until the last minute to see if four key players, Ruben Rayos, Sekou Cisse, Vladimir Ghadzev and Miguel Palanka can be included in the starting line-up.
Apollon have no injury concerns and even though they are up against one of the defensively better-organised teams in the league, they believe that they possess enough firepower up front to extend their unbeaten run.
Their coach Sofronis Avgousti was pleased to see young midfielder Alef and striker Anton Maglica come through the full 90 minutes in Apollon’s midweek game against Pafos FC and both should retain their places for this crucial fixture.
AEK face relegation-threatened Aris in Larnaca and anything other than a win will be considered a major upset.
The league’s top scorer Florian Taulemmeuse has not scored in the last four games and his coach Imanol Idiakez will be hoping that the Frenchman regains his scoring touch especially as their other striker, Ivan Triscovski, is sidelined though injury.
Aris have had a torrid season so far and have been stuck in the relegation zone for some time now but their win against Doxa last week has given them a ray of hope.
However they need to continue to pick up points if they are to avoid the drop.
Champions Apoel will make the short trip across Nicosia to face Doxa at the Makarion stadium and are favourites to win the game.
Both sides will be without key players but Apoel do have depth in their squad to replace them, compared to their opponents who are on a shoestring budget.
Two teams at the wrong end of the table, Ethnikos Achnas and Nea Salamina, face off in Achna with both sides requiring three points to keep alive their slim hopes of survival.
In the other games, Omonia will be hoping to extend their winning run under coach Ivaylo Petev against Ermis Aradippou while Pafos FC entertain fifth-placed AEL.
Saturday: Ethnikos v Salamina (4pm), Omonia v Ermis (5pm), AEK v Aris (7pm)
Sunday: Doxa v Apoel (3pm), Apollon v Anorthosis (5pm), Pafos FC v AEL (6pm)