Cyprus Mail
Cyprus football

Battle at both ends hotting up in Cyprus

Paralimni, trying to avoid relegation, have seen results improve since Nikos Andronikou was appointed coach

By Iacovos Constantinou

THE regular football season is drawing to a close with just three rounds remaining, with the battle at both ends of the table hotting up.
With this in mind, the Cyprus Football Association decided that all games from now on will played on the same day and during the daytime.

All matches were suspended last weekend as referees staged a protest after the car of their association president, Leondios Trattos, was damaged in a bomb explosion last Friday. Nobody was injured but the incident was the latest in a string of attacks against match officials
The games have been rescheduled for Sunday.

A few weeks ago nobody gave Enosis Neon Paralimni a chance of beating the drop but since their new coach Nikos Andronikou took over, the Paralimni side has closed the gap to the teams above and is now just three points away from the automatic relegation zone.

They should fancy their chances against Doxa Katokopias who may have to field their third choice keeper as first choice Meteo is suspended and second choice Morphis limped off the field at the end of their recent defeat to APOEL.

Both teams above Enosis have tough games, with AEK Kouklion taking on APOEL in Paphos and Aris of Limassol travelling to Larnaca to face Ermis Aradippou.

Champions APOEL are just a point off the top, and given their recent form and results they should be able to overcome a gifted but largely inexperienced AEK side.

Ermis, thumped by Nea Salamina nearly two weeks ago, need the win against third from bottom Aris who held Omonia to a draw last time out. A win will maintain Ermis’ dream of a first European qualification, something that few would have envisaged at the beginning of the season.
Omonia take on Ethnikos Achnas with both teams desperate for the points – Omonia to keep alive their slender hopes for the league and Ethnikos to steer well clear of the relegation zone.

Anorthosis need one point from their final two games to secure a place in the top six, but given their recent poor form anything is possible against a much-improved Nea Salamina.
League leaders AEL face an easy task against relegated Alki and should have no problems in securing the three points.

Apollon entertain AEK Larnaca at the Tsirion Stadium in a game that the team from Limassol has to win to maintain their challenge for the title. Three points separate Apollon from the top and they cannot afford to drop further behind at this late stage of the championship race.

Sunday, March 9th 2014: Doxa Katokopias v Enosis Neon Paralimniou (15.30), Omonia v Ethnikos Achnas (16.00), AEK Kouklion v APOEL (16.00), Ermis Aradippou v Aris Limassol (16.00), Anorthosis v Nea Salamina (17.00), Alki v AEL (19.00), Apollon v AEK Larnaca (19.00)

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