Two huge games that were postponed in late August (Round 2) due to Apoel and Apollon’s involvement in European competitions will take place today in the Cyprus football championship, with Apoel taking on AEL in Nicosia while Apollon entertain Omonia at the Tsirion stadium.
With a win today, Apoel will leapfrog AEK into first place for the first time this season and would still have a game in hand over the Larnaca team.
However it will not be an easy task for Giorgos Donis’ outfit as they face a team boasting the meanest defence, but more importantly, he will be without eight players who are ineligible to play and a further five who are out injured.
Apoel’s third choice goalkeeper, 19-year-old Andreas Paraskeva, will start only his third senior game while midfielder Nuno Morais is expected to drop back into defence to partner Apoel’s only available central defender Giorgos Merkis.
AEL have yet to win an away game against a team challenging for the championship but they will take heart from the fact that they have conceded just three goals in ten games on their travels.
Unlike his counterpart at Apoel, Bruno Baltazar has all players at his disposal and will be looking to get something out of this tough fixture.
Apollon, who remain the league’s only unbeaten side, are going through a sticky patch, having drawn three of their last four games.
Apollon coach Sofronis Avgousti will have his tough-tackling midfielder Esteban Sachetti back after suspension while Alex da Silva, who missed his team’s last game through illness, is expected to have fully recovered to play in today’s match.
The Limassol team have a couple of players who are not eligible to play, Martinez and Alan, as do Omonia who will be without defender Vyndra and Bulgarian goalkeeper Michailov.
Under recently-appointed coach Ivaylo Petev, Omonia have racked up four consecutive wins but this will be the first real test for the Nicosia team.
There are also two games today in the second round of the Cyprus Cup.
Anorthosis face a tricky second leg against Ayia Napa having won the first leg 3-2, while second division leaders Paralimni are at home to Pafos FC in the first leg of their tie.