NICOSIA – Cyprus Coca-Cola Cup holders Omonia face their first big test as they aim to defend their trophy against visitors Anorthosis on Wednesday afternoon in the first leg of their quarterfinal clash.
Toni Savevski’s Omonia are currently out of contention when it comes to challenging for the league title and are even in danger of missing out on a top four place as they trail fourth-place title holders AEL by two points in the league.
The Nicosia club’s only feasible opportunity not to end the season empty handed remains in the Cup and they will make a big push towards reaching that objective by eliminating the league leaders.
Savevski will be missing Israeli defender Yuval Spungin with Haris Nicolaou the most likely replacement at the back.
Anorthosis will head into Wednesday’s big game on the back of their first domestic defeat of the season last weekend in the Famagusta derby against Nea Salamina.
Ronny Levy’s side have uncharacteristically leaked five goals in their last two games with many laying the blame at stand-in keeper Christos Mastrou who appears to be struggling after replacing the recently injured Mathieu Valverde.
Anorthosis had started their campaign with a routine elimination of second division side Onisillos Sotiras before needing extra time to surge past Alki 3-2 on aggregate.
Omonia have so far enjoyed an easier Cup campaign after easily beating Ethnikos Achnas 2-0 in both legs in the previous round.
Anorthosis will take heart from the fact that they have already beaten Omonia twice in the league season. A 2-0 win at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca was followed up by a 3-1 win in Nicosia.
The games kicks off at 3.30pm and will be shown live on LTV Sports 2.
The other Cup games - Ayia Napa-Apollon, Enosis-AEK and AEP-AEL – will take place later this month.