UA-52481335-2 Cyprus Cup 2nd Round matches 30 January - Football-Cyprus

Cyprus Cup 2nd Round matches 30 January

The Cyprus Cup 2nd Round or the Last-16 continues today with 2 matches.

There are 12 teams left from which 9 are from the Cyprus 1st Division and 3 from the 2nd Division. There are still 4 ties that are undecided after Ermis, Apollon, FC Pafos and Enosis already booked their place in the quarter-finals. Today we will get one more team progressing; Either AEK or Nea Salamina.

30 January

AEL vs EN THOI Lakatamias 17:00 Tsirion Athlitiko Kentro

This is the last 1st leg match remaining between Cypriot title chasing AEL Limassol and relegation threatened 2nd Division team EN THOI Lakatamias.

AEL Limassol has had an excellent season so far as they 3rd in the 1st Division and just 2 points behind leaders APOEL. AEL Limassol has won the Cyprus Cup 6 times but the last time they won it was in the 1988-89 season. They have been the runners-up 11 times and in the last 11 years they have lost the final 4 times. Last season they were knocked out embarrasingly already in the first round by Ayia Napa. This season they did better by defeating also 2nd Division team Omonia Aradippou 0-3 away from home. Now they face one of the best defensive team in the 2nd division, EN THOI Lakatamia.

EN THOI might have one of the better defenses in the 2nd Division but they also have one of the worst offenses. This is why they are only 2 points ahead of the relegation zone in a very tight league where positions 8 to 13 are separated only by those 2 points. EN THOI has kept 9 clean sheets this season but most of those came in the 1st half of the season. If you do not count their latest 0-0 result with Digenis, they had conceded 12 goals in the five matches prior to this match. They got a bye in the first round so this will be their first game in the Cup this season.

Prediction: AEL will want to finish this game off but they will most likely with by 2 or 3 goals. EN THOI will not score unless with a total fluke or penalty so main pick is AEL to win and under 3.5 goals.

AEK vs Nea Salamina 18:00 AEK Arena, Larnaca (2-1 on aggregate)

AEK won the first leg 2-1 and are thoroughly in the drivers seat. In the 1st Division the teams are separated by just 2 points but there is no denying that AEK is the better team by far. AEK had a bad spell in December and early January but after their change in head coach back to Idiakez has resurrected them and they look like the team they were for the past few seasons. AEK is the defending cup champion and as they do not have much silverware yet, they will want to win again. They have won their last 3 games in all competition with a 10-1 goal difference so they are the team to beat.

Nea Salamina is playing one of their best season´s in ages as they are 5th in the league and they have a 6 points advantage on Omonia (7th) for a top-6 position with only 4 games remaining in the regular season. Making it into the Top-6 is their primary target and anything else after this is a bonus. Nea Salamina also does not have much silverware but they have won the Cyprus Cup once, back in 1989-90 season. Those were their golden years and they will want to get back to those. They beat AEK already once 0-1 in the AEK Arena this season but that was when AEK was in bad form. Also they would require a 2 goal win to be sure of going through and that might be too much for them.

Prediction: Nea Salamina is an excellent defensive team but AEK is riding on a high right now. Main pick is home win, but for value hunters, AEK to win by at least 2 goals is a decent pick also if Nea Salamina has to open up later in the game.

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