Cyprus Mail
Cyprus football

Hard-fought games expected in Cyprus championship

Second-placed Apoel will be hoping to build on their emphatic 5-1 drubbing of Apollon last Monday against the pleasant surprise of the season Nea Salamina

The second round of the Cyprus football championship begins this weekend with most games expected to be hard-fought contested and this despite not having a stand-out game.

Pafos FC and AEK kick-off Round 12 on Saturday with both sides eager to bounce back following their defeats last week but for entirely different reasons though.

Pafos FC are just a point off the bottom and this despite heavy investment by their Russian owners in the summer where they brought in more than 20 players.

They humbled Omonia in Nicosia and drew with Apoel in Pafos but against supposedly weaker teams they failed dismally.

AEK were enjoying a rich vein of form up until last week when they went down 2-0 to relegation-threatened Enosis.

Despite having to play their last European game next Thursday their coach Antoni Iraola is expected to field his strongest possible side.

Enosis will be looking to take another big scalp after AEK as they face third-placed Apollon in Paralimni. Enosis impressed against AEK and they should fancy their chances especially as Apollon will be missing seven players through suspension or injury.

Bottom of the table Alki reignited their survival hopes with an unexpected yet well-deserved win against Nea Salamina last week.

They now face Omonia, who seem destined for yet another poor season having already dropped a long way behind the front runners. Should the Nicosia team suffer their fifth defeat of the season they may even start feeling the pressure of relegation.

Second-placed Apoel will be hoping to build on their emphatic 5-1 drubbing of Apollon last Monday against the pleasant surprise of the season Nea Salamina.

In the corresponding first round fixture Apoel were fortunate to pick up the three points, but with all their players finally back from injury, they appear to be overcoming their early season woes and will be favourites for the win.

In the final weekend game Anorthosis take on Doxa Katokopias at the Antonis Papadopoulos stadium.

The Famagusta team are clawing their way up the table following a poor start to the season but they will need to be at their best if they are to record their fifth win of the season.

The final game of the round will take place on Monday between leaders AEL and last but one Ermis Aradipppou.

AEL will probably need the win to retain top spot as three points for either Apoel or Apollon over the weekend will be enough to knock them off the top.

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