Tottenham Hotspur face Cypriot side APOEL in tonights Champions League tie at the Pancyprian Gymnastic Association Stadium (GSP) in Nicosia.
It’s a must win game for Mauricio Pochettino’s men ahead of a double header against holders Real Madrid.
Cypriot football is something we are not all too familiar with so we enlisted the help of Terry Charalambous, Cyprus Spurs Supporters Club Chairman, to give us the lowdown on our Champions League opponents.
Who are APOEL?
APOEL FC is a professional football club based in Nicosia, Cyprus, who were founded in 1926 and are one of the most popular football teams in Cyprus. They are the most successful Cypriot team with an overall tally of 26 championships, 21 cups and 13 super cups.
The standard of Cypriot football has risen dramatically over the last few years, with several teams reaching far in the European competitions. Originally, football was politically motivated where certain teams of the same political alliances would “Do Favours” for the other team. This is not so strong in present-day Cypriot football, as there are now players who were playing for the one side have now switched to the other in order to expand their careers.
The Pancyprian Gymnastic Association Stadium (GSP) is a football stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus. Although small by international standards, it is the largest stadium in Cyprus, with a capacity of 22,859 and was opened in 1999.The stadium is used by APOEL, OMONIA and Olympiakos (Nicosia) as their home ground.
These are three players to look out for:
- Georgios Efrem is a 28-year-old Cypriot international footballer who plays as a winger for APOEL in the Cypriot First Division. He is a product of Arsenal F.C. academy.
- Igor Albert Rinck de Diver Camargo, known as Igor de Camargo, is a Brazilian-born naturalized Belgian footballer who plays for Cypriot club APOEL as a striker. He is also a Belgium international.
- Nektarios Alexandrou is a Cypriot international footballer who plays for Cypriot First Division side APOEL. He is a left flank specialist, but he primarily plays as the left winger.
APOEL’S style of football
APOEL do have an attacking style when playing in the Cyprus league making use of their wingers to great effect, but when playing in Europe, they tend to be a bit more defence-minded by “Parking the Bus” and will take advantage of the quick break.
So if Apoel do decide to “park the bus” it could well be a long and frustrating night for Mauricio’s men with opportunities at a premium.
Kick off is tonight 19.45pm (GMT)
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