Apoel vs Ajax
They were bad in finishing their chances and lost their first points in the Cyprus league after four successive wins. They drew to Limassol (0-0) at home on Saturday, in a match in which they had good presence and several chances for goal but failed to capitalize.
George Donis claimed to be satisfied with the effort of the players, without having available De Vincenti (midfielder) and Djebbour (Striker) in this match, while the absence of the first one was more obvious.
In the premiere of the groups for the Champions League they lost to Barcelona (0-1) at Barcelona, in a match in which they had excellent defensive tactic while they could score a goal in one of their counterattacks. Against Ajax, they are expected to be guided by their defensive tactic as they did in the match of the premiere where they’ll fight for their first points in the group.
Apoel’s coach emphasized inter alia for the current match: “It’s the first match in our home and if we want to have chances against the other three teams we have to collect points in our home. The opponent are the favorite, they are a team of attacking philosophy. We need to limit them but also to keep the ball. The game will be more demanding than the one in Spain because we are not willing to give the ball to the opponent. Players have great motivation. Realistically, we cannot have the same possession as against Barcelona, but Ajax is not Barcelona. We want to have possession, but possession is not always decisive. We are prepared for all eventualities.”
Apoel’s coach, compared to the last time match, will have De Vincenti and Djebbour available. Papazoglou (centre back) remains unavailable for Apoel due to injury. Last but not least problem that emerged is Nektarios Alexandrou (midfielder), who will miss the match due to injury too. John Arne Riise (left Back) is also off for the current game because he is unprepared.
Having a high percentage of accuracy in the chances created they passed with the emphatic 5-2 from Brenda’s home and combined with Eindhoven’s defeat, they grabbed the top. In the premiere of the groups in the Champions League, they drew 1-1 at Amsterdam against PSG. They showed more respect than they should to the French in the first half and fairly was found back in the score (0-1 in 14′). They tried harder in the second part and reached the equalizer fairly (74′), while just a few minutes later they had a shoot at the post and failed to do the rollover.
“It will be a difficult game. APOEL is a strong team that plays good football. They also have experience as the average age of players is 28 years. We saw (Apoel) how good team they are, in the match against Barcelona. We also know that the fans are fanatics. My players, however, despite the fact that they are youngsters, they have experience of big games and will not be affected by the atmosphere. We want to end the negative streak in away matches, but in order to have hope that we will succeed we should not underestimate APOEL” said Coach De Boer.
“Normally a point in an away game is not a bad result, but if we want to have high hopes for qualifying to the next stage and given that we have to go to Paris and Barcelona we are obliged to get the three points against Apoel” said in his turn the until recently injured midfielder Sana, who was fully healed and probably will start as a key player in tonight’s match.
The lack of the long absent Fischer (winger) will not affect the team. The only question mark for the first eleven is the position of number “6” for which Viergever and Zimling are disputing.