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Cyprus football

Leaders Apollonas host Salamina, APOEL look for elusive win

Apollonas, who lead champions APOEL by a point at the top of the table, entertain Nea Salamina on Saturday

By Iacovos Constantinou

League leaders Apollonas entertain Nea Salamina on Saturday while in-form Omonia face a tricky away game to Ermis Aradippou.
APOEL are at home to lowly Othellos Athienou while Sunday’s big game is between Anorthosis and AEL.

Apollonas are favourites to take all three points against Salamina despite missing a number of players through injury and suspensions.
Gullon, Stylianou and Lopes are all out though injury while Abraham Guie will face a late fitness test. Red-carded Sangoy and Angeli are also out.
Salamina inflicted a humiliating 4-0 defeat on the leaders in their first round game but since then, the Famagusta team’s form has nose-dived.
They are currently in ninth place hovering just above the relegation zone and will be without their Greek defender Lambropoulos.

Third-placed Omonia travel to Ermis on the back of a good run and, with all players at his disposal, coach Kaiafas has a welcome selection headache.
He can also count on new Croat signing Ivan Runje whose transfer was completed earlier this week.

Ermis were given a hammering last week against AEK and their president, Loucas Fanieros, has issued an ultimatum to his players: “Defeat Omonia or else hop off the (Ermis) bus.”

Ermis will most probably be without the injured Moran and Taralides while Bemba is suspended.

APOEL have not tasted a league win in over a month and despite playing a side at the wrong end of the table, their task against Othellos Athienou will not be an easy one.
Carlao and Efrem are back in the reckoning after overcoming injuries, giving new coach Fink a couple more options. However the champions will still be without six key players.

The minnows from Athienou have been a breath of fresh air so far providing a blueprint on how a small club with a limited budget and inexperienced players can play attractive football.
They were desperately unlucky to lose in the first round against APOEL and with new signings Garcia and Serginio Green they hope to get something out of their visit to Nicosia.

The Anorthosis AEL game at the Antonis Papadopoulos may go a long way in deciding which of these two teams will finish in the top-six group.
Anorthosis are currently three points above AEL in sixth place and they would at least want to maintain this difference. Their coach Paous has drafted 18-year-old Panayiotis Constantinou to add some firepower up front while he will also have to decide who will partner Seran at the back as Holgerston is suspended.

AEL have not lost at the Antonis Papadopoulos in their last five visits and given their recent good form they can extend this run.
AEL coach Christoforou is likely to pair new signings Mendy and Sambou at the heart of the defence with Bebe and Dialo returning in midfield after serving suspensions.

Relegation candidate Doxa Katokopias and Ethnikos Achnas complete the weekend fixture list, while on Monday AEK take on Ayia Napa in Larnaca.

Saturday, January 16th: Ermis Aradippou vs Omonia (17.00), Apollonas vs Nea Salamina (18.00), APOEL vs Othellos Athienou (19.00)
Sunday, January 17th: Anorthosis vs AEL (15.00), Doxa Katokopias vs. Ethnikos Achnas (18.00)
Monday, January 18th: AEK Larnaca vs Ayia Napa (19.00)

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