Second-placed Apollon take on third-placed AEK at the Tsirion stadium in Limassol in the big match in the Cyprus football championship this weekend.
With only three more rounds to go before the playoffs, leaders Apoel travel to Pafos while at the wrong end of the table, relegation fodder Aris and Olympiakos have tough games against Omonia and Anorthosis respectively.
The clash at the Tsirion is expected to be a closely contested affair between two sides who like to play open and attacking football.
Apollon do hold a slight advantage over their opponents as they will be playing in front of their own fans while just a couple of hundred AEK supporters are expected at the game due to the decision by their organised fan clubs to boycott the team’s away games due to recent measures imposed by the Cyprus Football Association on visiting fans.
This was something that AEK coach Imanol Idiakez touched upon during his pre-match press conference, where he lamented the fact that few AEK supporters were expected to attend.
He also pointed out that such games are decided by fine margins, saying: “It is very important for us to have their support in these title deciding games.”
AEK only have Murillo doubtful, and his participation will be decided just before Sunday’s game.
There are no injury concerns for Apollon coach Sofronis Avgousti, who will have to decide whether to start the game with two up front in an effort to try and unsettle AEK’s commanding three-man defensive line-up, or start with charismatic midfielder Alex da Silva supporting a lone striker.
Pafos FC and Apoel scored 13 goals between them in their last midweek outings but there is unlikely to be a goal glut at the Stelios Kyriakides Stadium.
Champions Apoel are favourites to take the three points that will keep them at least two points clear at the top, but Pafos FC have improved coynsiderably in recent games under their new Scottish coach Steven Pressley.
The winter signings, especially Berignaud, Torbinski and Dobvnya, have allowed the Scot to add more quality to his side who seemed to have regained the form that gave them such a bright start to the season.
Anorthosis need to bounce back from their midweek loss to Omonia against Olympiakos, while 10,000 Omonia fans are expected to turn up for their team’s clash with Aris.
In the final weekend game, Ermis Aradippou entertain Nea Salamina while on Monday Alki are at home to AEL.