Apoel hope for perfect record at Tsireion

first_imgLeaders Apoel travel to Limassol to face third placed AEL for the last game of the first round of the playoffs while Apollon have a seemingly easier task at home to Nea Salamina. A resurgent Omonia take on AEK in Nicosia with the home side keen on the three points to keep their slim hopes of a European finish alive.In the relegation group Alki are at home to Enosis in a crucial game for both sides while Pafos FC should pick up the three points against bottom placed Ermis Aradippou. In the third game of the group Doxa and Anorthosis will clash at the Makareion stadium with any result possible.The Tsireion stadium in Limassol has proven this season a happy hunting ground for Apoel as they have yet to drop a point in three visits and one more win against AEL today will guarantee their perfect record for the season.Apoel though have failed to impress in recent games and their coach Paolo Tramezzani knows that his team needs to improve in the final third of the field. Any result other than a win will be considered a disaster by the club’s demanding supporters.Tramezzani is expected to be without injured midfielder Savvas Gentzoglou while Carlao seems to have overcome his niggling injury and should be available for selection.AEL started the playoffs with three straight defeats but last week they deservedly picked up their first points against Nea Salamina in a 3-1 away win.They will be looking to put behind them a miserable record against the champions in the playoffs as they have managed just one draw from their last 10 meetings (home and away).Should AEL take the three points they will be just 4 points behind Apoel.AEL will be without their towering defender Dossa Junior but in Slovakian Boris Godál they have more than an able replacement.Up front they will be hoping that striker Rubén Jurado can maintain his scoring touch and add to the four goals he netted in his last two outings.It’s been a long time since Apollon lost three games (in league and cup) on the trot and their coach Sofronis Avgousti will be desparate to put an end to this losing run against Nea Salamina.Injuries and players fatigue have cost the Limassol side dearly so far with Fotis Pampoulis adding to Avgousti’s woes as he joins Kyriacou, Karayol, Faumbala, Perreira and Kerbr in the treatment room.However Bru and Vassiliou have overcome their injuries with Esteban Sachetti also returning after suspension to beef up the midfield that looked so lightweight in his absence last week.Nea Salamina have impressed throughout the season and will be a tough customer for the Limassol side.Salamina possess a Lukaku lookalike in Kingsley up front with his powerful approach to the game while in Robert Vezelofski they have a goalkeeper that will require something special to beat him.It appears that the final standings in the relegation group will go down to the wire as four teams are separated by just two points with one of them joining doomed Ermis Aradippou to the second division.Pafos FC have the easiest task as they should have no problem in picking up the three points against Ermis Aradippou who seem to have given up the fight for survival.Alki and Enosis Neon Paralimniou clash in Larnaca in a game that is too close to call while group leaders, and the only team safe from relegation, Anorthosis take on Doxa Katokopias at the Makareion stadium in Nicosia.Saturday: Omonia v AEK (6.00) AEL v Apoel (7.00) Pafos FC v Ermis Aradippou (5.00)Sunday: Apollon v Nea Salamina (6.00), Alki v Enosis (5.00), Doxa v Anorthosis (7.00)last_img

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