Monday 20 Mar

APOEL vs AEL Limassol Match Preview

20 Mar 2017 Stuart S. CYPRUS: 1st Division, Championship group
CYPRUS: 1st Division, Championship group

Apoel Nicosia FC

  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

vs

Kick-off
17:00 GMT
20 March 2017

AEL Limassol FC

  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Kick-off
17:00 GMT 20 March 2017

APOEL welcome fellow title chasers, AEL, to the GSP Stadium and the hosts look to extend their lead at the top of the table in match week 2 of the 2016/17 Championship Round. While APOEL often finish top of the table and have featured in Europe several times in the last few decades, they will need to guard against complacency in this big fixture.

STATS

  • APOEL have won their first fixture in the mini league made up of the top 6 teams after the main league season has finished. While they are fully expected to extend this to 2 wins, AEL are certainly no pushovers.
  • AEL have drawn their only game of the mini league this season and won’t expect anything from this away fixture. However, they finished 4th in the main league and may be able to snatch a win away at APOEL.
  • Sotiriou Pieros has scored the most league goals for APOEL so far this season with 16 goals, a solid return for the club’s main goal threat. He will be hoping to add to this tally in this one.
  • Arruaberrena Mikel has showed the best instinct in front of goal for AEL this season and with 11 goals, he’s their top goal scorer. If AEL want to get anything in this game, they’ll need to take any chances and Mikel will be vital to that.

HEAD TO HEAD

There’s no doubt that APOEL have dominated this fixture in recent years and with 4 wins out of the last win meetings between the two sides, they’ll certainly feel confident going into this one. They also haven’t conceded in 5 of the last 6 games, the one that they did concede in was the one that AEL won -  a 2-1 win.

APOEL NEWS

APOEL will want to catch up with the kneaders of the mini league with this game-in-hand and they have a brilliant chance to do that in front of their own fans. With only Inaki Astiz unavailable through injury, a fully-fit squad should have far too much quality to overcome AEL. Although, it will be very easy for the current champions to ease up expecting the 3  points so a professional approach will have to be taken.

Latest matches: Apoel Nicosia FC

16.03.2017 UEFA RSC Anderlecht Apoel Nicosia FC 1:0 L
12.03.2017 1st Anorthosis Famagusta FC Apoel Nicosia FC 0:1 W
09.03.2017 UEFA Apoel Nicosia FC RSC Anderlecht 0:1 L
04.03.2017 1st Apoel Nicosia FC AC Omonia Nicosia 2:1 W
27.02.2017 1st Apollon Limassol FC Apoel Nicosia FC 2:0 L

AEL NEWS

If AEL were to beat APOEL on their own turf, it would send a massive statement of intent to the rest of the league that they are there to compete for the title. With only Lucas Souza out with a ruptured cruciate ligament, they’ll definitely have some confidence of snatching a shock result. A defensive approach will be needed as they hope to catch APOEL out on the counter-attack.

Latest matches: AEL Limassol FC

11.03.2017 1st AEL Limassol FC Apollon Limassol FC 1:1 D
05.03.2017 1st AEL Limassol FC Ermis Aradippou FC 1:2 L
25.02.2017 1st AC Omonia Nicosia AEL Limassol FC 4:1 L
20.02.2017 1st Apoel Nicosia FC AEL Limassol FC 3:0 L
12.02.2017 1st AEL Limassol FC AEK Larnaca FC 1:1 D

SUMMARY

There’s no doubt that APOEL are huge favourites going into this game and with their dominance of the Cypriot league in the last several years, it will be a huge surprise if AEL come away with anything from the match. APOEL should ease past AEL and will probably score a few goals in the process so expect a convincing APOEL victory in this fixture as well as a commanding performance.

About the author - Stuart S.

An English freelance sports writer, Stuart has written the Arsenal blog A Cultured Left Foot since 2006, as well as numerous betting previews and articles.

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