Omonia Nicosia take on their toughest opponent yet in Polish outfit Legia Warsaw in the second qualifying round of the Champions League on Wednesday night.
The game, which kicks off at 21:00 Cyprus time, will take place at the Stadion Miejski Legii Warszawa.
The winner will progress to the next stage of the qualifying process with the ultimate aim of reaching the group stage.
Omonia arrived in Poland on Tuesday on a chartered flight. Though the club announced that the group flying to Poland consisted of 23 players, the Greens did not specify the names of those travelling.
Their new addition Photis Papoulis will miss the game due to injury, as will centre-forward Andronikos Kakoullis. New signings Kaly Sene and Ernest Asante are expected to be included in the matchday squad.
Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, football writer and Juventus Primavera squad follower Khaled Al Nouss described Sene as a player who is primarily a right winger, but who can also feature on the left and as a second striker. Al Nouss added that though Sene is very quick with the ball at his feet and a skilled dribbler, he “needs to improve his finishing”. Omonia would undoubtedly appreciate some attacking incisiveness against Legia.
Omonia will be hoping that attacking midfielder and key figure Eric Bauthéac will be able to help the team’s cause with a solid display against the Poles. Legia feature a number of talented players, including under-21 internationals Bartosz Slisz, Maciej Rosołek and Mateusz Hołownia.
In an interview to local radio station Sport FM, former Omonia player Nikos Patikkis said that the injured Kakoullis would have been useful to manager Henning Berg and that his absence will be sorely felt. Patikkis also said that Legia are a very good team and that it wil be to their advantage having the game played at their home ground.
Meanwhile, former Apollon Limassol, Aris Limassol and Anorthosis Famagusta player Lukasz Sosin spoke to Polish outlet TVP Sport, providing his thoughts on the upcoming encounter between the two sides.
“The most important thing is that the game will be held in Warsaw, which is cooler than Cyprus, this is not something original to say”, Sosin said. “You have to live it to believe it. On the pitch you battle against both the humidity and yourself”, he added.
Sosin also stated that the game will not be a straightforward affair for Legia. “Omonia will be giving it all they have”, Sosin explained. “It’s not a random thing that Omonia were first before the suspension of the championship”, he added.
Sosin also spoke about Omonia manager Hening Berg’s managerial past, which included a stint at Legia Warsaw. “Berg has the advantage, he knows the place he’s returning to and he knows what to expect from Legia”, the former Polish international said.