Cyprus football’s reputation took a battering on Friday as one of the most successful and best-supported clubs on the island Omonia, accused the Cyprus Football Association and several teams (without actually naming them) of corruption and has even asked both UEFA and FIFA to intervene and investigate.
However this will be put on the backburner, at least until after the weekend fixtures for round 16 of the football championship, with leaders Anorthosis entertaining third-placed Apoel in the top game of the round.
Fourth-placed Apollon travel to Nicosia to face vastly-improved Olympiakos at the Makarion stadium while AEL and Nea Salamina clash in Limassol.
The final weekend game is between two teams that have been less than impressive in recent weeks, Ethnikos Achnas and AEK.
Anorthosis have been by far the most accomplished team this season and deservedly lead the championship race. They are currently six points ahead of Apoel, having played one game more though, and a win against the champions will give them a significant advantage as the championship enters the second half.
The Famagusta team have not beaten Apoel in their last 12 visits to the Antonis Papadopoulos and in front of a sold-out crowd, Temuri Ketsbaia’s team will be looking to put an end to this negative record.
The manager has both Daushvili and Okriashvili back from injury with tigerish midfielder Renato Margaca the only player unavailable through injury for Anorthosis’ Georgian coach.
Apoel have scored eight times in the two games since their new Norwegian coach Kåre Ingebrigtsen took charge, but against Olympiakos they were lucky to go into the break just a goal down before scoring four times in the second half.
Ingebrigtsen knows that he his side cannot afford a repeat of such a sluggish first-half performance against a team that has scored the most and conceded the fewest goals so far this season.
Savic is the only notable absentee for Apoel having picked up a silly third caution against Olympiakos.
Ingebrigsten is not expected to make many changes and may stick to the same side that defeated Olympiakos last Wednesday with Alef the only candidate who may come in for Matic, who seemed exhausted in the last game and had to be substituted.
Friday: Omonia 0-0 Pafos FC
Saturday: AEL v Nea Salamina (5.00pm), Ethnikos v AEK (7.00pm)
Sunday: Anorthosis v APOEL (5.00pm), Olympiakos v Apollon (6.00pm)
Monday: Enosis v Doxa (7.00pm)