Two huge games take place on Sunday in Round 2 of the Cyprus championship playoffs with leaders Apoel taking on AEK at the GSP stadium while second-placed Apollon travel to Larnaca to face third-placed Anorthosis.
Apoel got off to a winning start in their opening game of the playoffs against arch-rivals Omonia and will be looking for another victory so as to at least maintain their two-point lead over Apollon.
Coach Giorgos Donis has no injury headaches ahead of the game against AEK and it is excepted that he will make few changes, if any, from the team that defeated Omonia last weekend.
The only players that are knocking on the door for a starting berth are defender Nicolas Ioannou who may come in to replace Polyiakov or Merkis, while upfront winter signing Guilhere Dellatorre may get the nod over Mickael Pote to lead the attack.
AEK were desperately unlucky to pick up just a point against Anorthosis last week and their coach Imanol Idiakez will be looking for better finishing by his front men this time round.
“It’s amazing how we did not defeat Anorthosis last week,” he said. “The team is ready, we are gunning for the win.”
He will be without the league’s top scorer Florian Taulemeuse through injury again with Greek striker Apostolos Giannou taking his place.
Anorthosis are nine points behind Apoel and know that only a win against Apollon at the Antonis Papadopoulos will keep their slim title hopes alive.
However coach Ronny Levi knows that his side must improve considerably if they are to pick up the three points against the Limassol outfit.
Both Danijel Pianic and Joao Victor shook off niggling injuries and are expected to start, but towering defender Douglao did not manage to train at all this week and will miss the game.
Apollon are in buoyant form following their emphatic 4-0 drubbing of AEL in their playoffs opener and will travel to Larnaca with only the three points in mind.
Coach Sofronis Avgousti has no injury concerns and has a plethora of quality players he can choose from, especially in the final third of the field.
Anorthosis remain the only team this season that Apollon have failed to beat and as their Greek skipper Fotis Papoulis admitted: “The games against Anorthosis are always tough and closely contested.”
Apoel v AEK (16.00), Anorthosis v Apollon (19.00)