By Iacovos Constantinou
THE play-offs continue in Cyprus with six more fixtures over the weekend, with the three relegation games being played on Saturday and the championship ones on Sunday.
The most intriguing tie from the top group is the clash between AEL and Omonia at the Tsirion stadium in Limassol.
AEL, with home advantage and with their coach Petev having all players at his disposal, will want to make amends for their poor showing last weekend against Apollon. It is expected that Petev will make some changes to the starting eleven with possibly Kalunderovic and Edmar making way for Oriol and Idabdelhay.
Omonia coach Kaiafas has defensive concerns with Adrande and Alabi doubtful after picking up knocks and Leandro serving a one-match suspension. However Omonia are the most improved side in recent weeks and if they show the same resilience that they have shown since Kaiafas took over they can extend their five-game unbeaten run.
Second-placed APOEL travel to Larnaca to face their bogey team Anorthosis. Despite missing De Vincenti and probably Aloneftis through injury, APOEL should prove too strong for Anorthosis who are going through one of their worst runs in more than a decade.
The Famagusta side has a number of key players missing and their coach Kostenoglou will give yet again a chance for his home-grown talents like Laifis and Loizides to shine.
Ermis Aradippou and Apollon meet again only a few days after their epic semi-final which Ermis won so emphatically. Ermis will most probably rest a number of key players, something their coach has been doing in all their recent league games.
With nothing else to play for apart from the championship Apollon will have to overcome their midweek disappointment and take maximum points if they want to keep their chances of a top two finish alive.
Aris Limassol entertain Doxa Katokopias in a game where the home team need the three points to keep their hopes of survival well and truly alive. Only two points separate Doxa from the relegation zone but they will be happy if they escape from Limassol with a point.
Ethnikos Achnas face the most in-form team of the bottom group, Nea Salamina, and it will take quite a performance to defeat them while in the last game of the day the two AEK’s, of Larnaca and Kouklion, meet in Larnaca.
I cannot see the team from Kouklia taking anything from this game and even though mathematically they can still avoid the drop it will be very difficult to do so.
Group B games: Saturday, April 13th at 17.00
Group A games: Sunday, April 14th AEL v Omonia and Ermis v Apollon (17.00) Anorthosis v APOEL (18.30)