Two games stand out this weekend for the fifth round of the championship with Ael and Apollon locking horns in the big Limassol derby on Saturday, while the following day top of the table Aek, play hosts to Anorthosis at the Zenon stadium in Larnaca.
Ael have done well in their opening four games, dropping just two points, but against Apollon, it will be their first strong test as their opponents so far are all occupying the bottom half of the table.
Their coach Pambos Christodoulou has branded his opponents as favourites, saying that ‘they are a strong team that has been built over the past couple of years while the new Ael is just a few months old,’ but concluded, ‘the pressure will be on Apollon, we will battle for the win.’
Apollon suffered their first loss of the season last week against Aek and their coach Pedro Emmanuel knows that he cannot afford another ‘home loss’.
Recent signing Tiago Gomes may make his debut on the left side of defence while Abraham Guie’s involvement will be decided at the very last minute.
Table-toppers Aek will be looking to maintain their perfect start to the season against Anorthosis.
Aek’s coach Imanol Idiakez rested a number of key players against Ethnikos last Wednesday but still won with relative ease. However, it is expected that Tete, Larena and Triscovski will all be starting the game.
Anorthosis’ coach Antonio Puche has yet to find the right balance in his team. Last weekend against Aez their front line was creating chance after chance but their backline was guilty of sloppy play that led them to conceding two goals. Against Apoel on Wednesday the defence was rock solid but up front they failed to create one genuine scoring chance.
A lot will depend on creative midfielder Ruben Rayios, who, on his day, can make the difference for Anorthosis.
Apoel travel to Limassol to face Aris and should prove too strong for the Limassol team.
Argentinian Daniel Bertoglio is once again eligible to play and will be make the starting 11 but striker Igor de Camargo has yet to recover from his niggling injury.
Aris suffered a blow earlier this week when their powerful forward Marangoudakis was ruled out of the game but late summer signing Onilo is now ready to lead the attack.
Nea Salamina were the first team to sack their coach after failing to score in their first four games. Greek coach Staikos Vergetis has taken over the reins at Salamina and his first game will be against Zakaki.
Omonia are expected to notch their second consecutive win against Karmiotissa at the GSP stadium while Anagennisis Deryneias are at home to Doxa.
The final game of the round will be played on Monday between Ermis and bottom of the table Ethnikos Achnas.
Saturday: Aez vs Nea Salamina (18.00), Omonia vs Karmiotissa (19.00), Ael vs Apollon (20.00)
Sunday: Aek vs Anorthosis (18.00), Aris vs Apoel (19.00), Anagennisi vs Doxa (20.00)
Monday: Ermis Aradippou vs Ethnikos Achnas (19.00)