Apollon and AEL will lock horns in a crunch Limassol derby on Saturday with both sides looking to build on their recent strong form.
Pambos Christodoulou’s AEL – who are joint league leaders with APOEL – picked up a comfortable 4-1 win over Karmiotissa in midweek and will be in confident mood against an Apollon side, also feeling bullish after beat AEK Larnaca 3-1 on Tuesday to knock them off the top of the standings.
Thomas Christiansen’s APOEL will be hoping Apollon do them a favour as they will be favourites to beat struggling Aris Limassol on Sunday at the GSP Stadium while Omonia will be seeking to pick-up a third win but in easier fashion – having to fight back from two goals down to win 3-2 in their last two games against Doxa and Ethnikos.
Apart from challenging for the league title, APOEL are also preparing for a historic Europa League Last 32 clash against Spanish Athletic Club.
Police security is expected to be on high alert at Tsirio Stadium in Limassol on Saturday in what is expected to be one of the most anticipated derbies in the last few years.
Apollon had recently parted ways with boss Pedro Emanuel but have found their footing again under caretaker manager Sofronis Avgoustis – who succeeded in becoming the first manager to take a team to the new AEK Arena and beat hosts AEK.
The Limassol club had stormed ahead after early goals from Fotis Papoulis, Anton Maglica and Alex da Silva (penalty) before Ivan Trickovski pulled one back moments later.
Apollon held on for all three points while the game was marred by a fire cracker that was thrown at the visiting team’s goalkeeper, Bruno Vale, who fell to the ground and received treatment.
A 22-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident.
A three-goal blitz inside the first 25 minutes with goals paved the way to their famous 3-1 win.
AEK will be looking to give the perfect response to their rivals tomorrow as they make the short trip across the town to take on Anorthosis Famagusta side – that have plenty of off-field money problems but that still managed to pick up some encouraging results in their last few games.
In other games this weekend, Doxa Katokopia and Anagennises will be looking to get back to winning ways after both sides lost in midweek when they meet at the Makarios Stadium on Saturday.
Doxa conceded a goal deep into injury time in their last game away to Ermis and will now be looking to beat bottom club Anagennises, who lost 4-2 to APOEL in midweek.
Ethnikos Achnas imploded within the space of four minutes in their last game – as Omonia’s Matt Derbyshire snatched a quick fire hat-trick – and they will meet Nicos Panagiotou’s Ermis on Sunday.
In the Monday night kick-off, Nea Salamina will be hoping to continue their impressive form when they host AEZ.