By Iacovos Constantinou
The six fixtures will once again be played over the three day period (Saturday-Mon) with the Limassol derby between AEL and Apollon set for Monday due to the latter’s European involvement.
On Saturday APOEL will have to forget their mid-week (almost incredible) adventure at the Camp Nou in front of more than 60.000 fans and settle for a couple of thousand fans at the Tasos Markou stadium in Paralimni where they will face Ayia Napa.
APOEL’s coach Donis will no doubt rest a few players and given the depth of the APOEL squad they should still prove too strong for the coastal team. John Arne Riise may be given his debut as APOEL’s left back Antoniades picked up a knock against Barcelona.
Nicos Andronikou, Ayia Napa’s coach, when asked about how he will set up his team to face the champions wittily said, ‘on Saturday, APOEL will be Barcelona and we shall be APOEL.’
Omonia will want to bounce back following last week’s draw against Nea Salamina but so will their opponents AEK who have not picked up any points since the opening day of the season.
Omonia will be without the suspended Stepanov and the injured Serginhio while AEK will be missing Murillo with Sipo and Mangouris facing late fitness tests.
Ermis Aradippou take on Anorthosis in what should be a closely fought game with both sides aiming for the win.
Ermis’s new coach, Nick Papavassiliou, wants to take all three points in his first home game especially given his team’s tough schedule ahead.
Anorthosis have shown from their very first game that this season they will be a tough opponent and that not many teams will be able defeat them.
Nea Salamina entertain Ethnikos Achnas who missed the chance to regain top spot when they failed to beat Othellos last week. The home team will be hoping to register their first win of the season.
Othellos Athienou collected their first ever point in the first division last week and now they have the chance to go for their first win against Doxa Katokopias. Both teams are expected to be relegation strugglers towards the end of the season and any points collected early in the season may prove vital.
AEL have no injury worries ahead of their crucial game against Apollon on Monday while Apollon will be without their influential midfielder Rasheed Hamdani.
Apollon’s coach Christophorou, still brimming with joy following his teams excellent win on Thursday, said that despite all the tiredness and the aching bones his players have what it takes to overcome their local arch rivals.
Saturday, September 20: Ayia Napa vs APOEL (7pm), Nea Salamina vs Ethnikos (8pm)
Sunday, September 21: Omonia vs AEK & Ermis vs Anorthosis (7pm), Othellos vs Doxa (8pm)
Monday, September 22: AEL vs Apollonas (7pm)