By Andreas Vou
IN the game of the weekend in the Cyprus football championship, APOEL host Anorthosis at the GSP Stadium on Friday evening (7pm) where the home side, buoyed by their 1-0 derby win over Omonia last week, will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the table to five points. Meanwhile, Anorthosis will be aiming to bounce back from their disappointing 0-1 home defeat to Apollon on Monday.
A picture of which sides will be fighting for the title and who will be scrapping for survival becomes ever clearer with each passing game.
One of those who remain on the fringes of the first group are Omonia, in seventh-place.
Costas Kaiafas’ side created a host of chances in the Nicosia derby and will be hoping that their frontmen are more clinical against strugglers Othellos, who have won just once in their last eight league games.
The league’s top scorer Mickael Pote was said to be the victim of racial abuse in the Nicosia derby and will be hoping to put the unsavoury moment behind him by firing his side to victory. The 30-year-old has scored in every other game this season so if the pattern is to continue, a goal from him is due on Saturday.
In the pick of Saturday’s games, fourth-placed AEK Larnaca face second-placed Apollon – who are both coming off the back of narrow 1-0 victories. AEK scraped past bottom side Doxa last week while Apollon proved their title credentials with an impressive win over Anorthosis away from home on Monday.
Gaston Sangoy’s 57th minute strike separated the sides and extended Apollon’s unbeaten run to five under new boss Ioan Andone.
Meanwhile, AEL are looking to earn back-to-back wins for the first time this campaign at home to Nea Salamina. A 94th minute goal from Andreas Stavrou stole the points for AEL against Othellos in their last league outing and a win against Salamina is expected from Christakis Christoforou’s men.
Ermis, who are again surprising all with their impressive league start, can make it five wins on the bounce and are fully expected to do so when they take on Doxa at home on Sunday. The team from Aradippou sit third in the table, two points above AEK Larnaca.
Monday night’s game sees relegation candidates Ayia Napa, who have yet to win at home, take on Ethnikos Achnas, who have yet to win on the road. The home side will be relying on striker Giorgos Kolokoudias, who is the league’s second top scorer, to help them to a much needed win as they trail ninth place Ethnikos by five points.