Cypriot duo AEK and Apollon have just a point each in their respective Europa League groups and anything other than a win tonight against Ludogorets and Eintracht Frankfurt respectively will all but put an end to their already slim hopes of progressing to the knockout stages.
At the GSP stadium in Nicoisa, Apollon take on group leaders Eintracht who have enjoyed a perfect start after their first three games.
Apollon were completely outplayed in Frankfurt a couple of weeks ago and manager Sofronis Avgousti knows that his team must play at their very best if they are to get anything out of the game.
Apollon have been plagued with injuries to key players in recent weeks giving Avgousti few options to rotate his squad.
Both Vassiliou and Stylianou are expected to start the game while influential midfielder Marcovic may be rested in view of the upcoming Limassol derby against AEL this weekend.
Eintracht are enjoying one of their best starts in years and are currently in fifth place in the Bundesliga. They have not lost in their last eight domestic and European games and will be firm favourites to extend their unbeaten run.
More than 4,500 German fans are expected at the GSP stadium, by far outnumbering the couple of thousand Apollon fans that are expected at the stadium.
The majority of the Apollon fans are still staying away from local football games due to the introduction of the football fan card at the beginning of the season in August.
AEK’s task is just as difficult against Bulgarian champions Ludogorets.
In the reverse fixture in Nicosia, the Bulgarians took AEK by surprise and could have led by two or three goals in the opening 20 minutes, before the Larnaca team regrouped and finally earned a deserved point.
Both Ludogorets coach Radoslav Zdravkov and captain Svetoslav Dyakov admitted that AEK are a very good side but felt that their team is superior and that they would claim the three points that could give them a chance of progressing further in the competition.