By Nemanja Bjedov
THE Limassol derby between Apollon and AEL will open Round 10 of the national football championship on Saturday afternoon (3pm) at the Tsirion Stadium as the league resumes after the international break.
“We perceive the game against AEL as any other, a three-point game. Even this early in the season, with 26 games remaining and 78 points to fight for, we need to do well against the teams that share identical goals with us,” said Apollon coach Christakis Christoforou.
“However, whatever the final result will be I do not think that it will change too much for either of the teams,” added Christoforou, who is sweating over Gaston Sangoy’s fitness for the upcoming clash.
“Sangoy trained individually when the rest of the team had a day off. Then he joined the normal training regime, so we will see if he will be included in the starting line-up,” he concluded.
Christoforou will also make a late decision on Marios Stylianou and Dimitris Froxylias who are both doubtful, while AEL coach Ivaylo Petev has a full squad to choose from.
Elsewhere, at 6pm, Alki host Enosis Neon Paralimni, while an hour later APOEL take on Doxa Katokopia away from home.
Both Apollon and APOEL have their games scheduled for Saturday due to the fifth round of the Europa League group stage this coming Thursday when they face Trabzonspor in Turkey and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Nicosia respectively.
APOEL will be able to count on their supporters for the vital Group F match after UEFA’s Disciplinary Committee penalised the Cypriot champions with a 100,000 euros fine, but decided to allow the presence of the APOEL faithful against Maccabi after the ‘flare festival’ they created against Bordeaux in the previous round.
On Sunday afternoon at 3pm, Anorthosis meet AEK in the big Larnaca derby at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium, while at 5pm AEK Kouklion host Ethnikos Achnas. Two games are scheduled for 6pm with Ermis Aradippou taking on Nea Salamina and Omonia facing Aris Limassol at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia.
“We face Aris who maybe did not show their full potential as yet, but they could be a very tricky opponent for us. They have a new coach and that could play a big role.
“However, our goal does not change as we are looking to record another three points,” said Omonia coach Toni Savevski whose team is currently third with 19 points and on a five-game winning run.