By Nemanja Bjedov
DEFENDING champions APOEL take on in-form Ermis Aradippou at the Ammochostos Stadium in Larnaca on Saturday evening at 7pm as the national football championship resumes after the international break.
APOEL are currently fifth with 10 points after five rounds, which prompted the sacking of Portuguese coach Paulo Sergio earlier this month.
Experienced Greek coach Giorgos Donis who managed AEK Athens and PAOK, among others, is his replacement
“We have a very challenging game ahead of us. Not only the game against Ermis, but all the upcoming games will be difficult. We know that we have not achieved what we have hoped for until now,” said influential APOEL midfielder Gustavo Manduca.
“We simply did not play the football we wanted to and we had some difficult days, but I believe that these days are now over. Only good results can bring us necessary confidence,” added Manduca, who is set to return to action after being sidelined with injury for almost two months.
“I feel much better now the injury is behind me and I will be able to help my team-mates on the pitch.
In the Round 6 opener on Saturday afternoon at 6pm, Alki face Doxa Katokopia. Apollon are also set to play their match against AEK Kouklion an hour later at the Tsirion Stadium in Limassol as, like APOEL who travel to Bordeaux, they have upcoming Europa League obligations next Thursday when they host Lazio.
Elsewhere, on Sunday afternoon at 5pm, Aris take on Enosis Neon Paralimni, while an hour later league leaders Anorthosis host Ethnikos Achnas at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca.
The matches between Nea Salamina and AEL at the Ammochostos Stadium, as well as Omonia and AEK Larnaca at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia are set to kick-off at 7pm.
Anorthosis coach Jorge Costa is expected to make several changed to his starting line-up after some players returned tired from international duty, while others suffered minor injuries and are doubtful.
George Galamaz should take Savo Pavicevic’s position in the centre of defense as Pavicevic played two full games for Montenegro over the past ten days.