By Nemanja Bjedov
APOEL are set to take on in-form Ermis Aradippou at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia on Saturday afternoon at 6pm in what should be the most entertaining encounter in Round 19 of the national football championship, while after sacking Jorge Costa on Thursday, Anorthosis will be looking to return to winning ways against Ethnikos in Achna.
APOEL coach Giorgos Donis has no new injury concerns with the champions and should be able to field his best team against Ermis. Aldo Adorno is close to making a full recovery, but he is still lacking match fitness so will probably not be risked, while newly-signed Brazilian central defender Kaka might go straight into the starting lineup. Marcelo Oliveira and Efstathios Aloneftis are also expected to return to action.
Ermis are confident going into the match. “We had several games in quick succession, including two games in the cup. In the league we are undefeated in 17 games and that streak includes our first match against APOEL,” said president Loukas Fanieros.
The Aradippou side has lost only two games this season, away to Apollon on the opening day of the championship, and earlier this month when they lost the first leg of the Cyprus Coca Cola Cup Round of 16 away to AEK Kouklion.
“Playing APOEL is always tough, they are a good team, but we will focus on ourselves and our performance and not our opponents. Our mindset a few years back was to beat the ‘big’ teams, while now others want to beat us. This is a sign that we are moving in the right direction,” Fanieros added.
The three-man team of Arsen Mihajlovic, Arjan Beqaj and Giorgos Georgiou will take charge of Anorthosis until the club’s board appoint a new coach and their first task comes today at 6pm against Ethnikos at the Dasaki Stadium in Achna.
Enosis Neon Paralimni, fresh from reaching the quarter-finals of the Cup on Wednesday, host Aris in the Round 19 opener this afternoon at 3pm, while two hours later AEK Kouklion face a tough Apollon test in Paphos.
On Sunday afternoon at 3pm AEK take on Omonia at the GSZ Stadium in Larnaca desperate for a win. Should they lose, their Top 6 dream could be over as they already trail the Nicosia giants, who are currently sixth, by seven points.
At the same time, Doxa Katokopia host Alki, while at 5pm league leaders AEL meet Nea Salamina at the Tsirion Stadium in Limassol.