WITH APOEL crowned champions and the European slots all but secured by AEK, Omonia and Apollon, attention this weekend will shift towards the relegation dogfight.
Ethnikos Achnas and Paphos FC are tied at the foot of the table on 35 points while Aris are just three points above them and with two games still to play, any of the three teams can join Ayia Napa and Paralimni in the second division.
However whatever the results this weekend, the relegation scramble is set to go down to the wire as the two teams tied in last position will face each other in Paphos on the final day.
This weekend, Paphos FC appear to have the toughest task as they are away to group leaders AEL.
However AEL have long forgotten this season and have already begun their plans for next season. Their coach Pambos Christodoulou will not even be present at the game as he will be abroad scouting for players for the ‘new’ AEL.
AEL are expected to field a number of youngsters as a number of foreign players have already been shown the door.
Despite a bright start to the playoffs Paphos FC let slip a seven-point cushion and are now in imminent danger of relegation.
“We have two finals, with hard work we believe that we can win both games and save our season”, Paphos FC’s press spokesman Louca said earlier this week.
Ethnikos Achnas have finally regained the form that saw them defeat teams in the top group and know that their fate is now in their own hands.
They are up against Aris who up until two weeks ago were sitting comfortably in second place. Two consecutive defeats and the Limassol team has begun to look over their shoulders as they still need a point to be sure of safety.
In the final relegation group game Doxa Katokopias are at home to Ermis Aradippou.
In the top group, champions APOEL travel to Limassol to face Cup finalist Apollon while second-placed AEK face the other finalist, Omonia, in Larnaca.
At least three of the four teams – AEK and the two finalists – will field weakened teams.
AEK will rest no fewer than eight plays while another three are suspended for their game against Omonia.
With the Cup at the back of his mind Omonia coach Vladan Milojevic is also expected to give some of his key players a breather while Apollon coach Pedro Emmanuel is expected to do likewise.
In the final game of the weekend Anorthosis take on pointless Nea Salamina and they need to win if they are to stand any chance of ‘stealing’ the last European slot from Apollon.