Ran Ben Simon's call for Cyprus
Cypriot National team coach Ran Ben Simon announced his call ups for the upcoming qualifiers against Greece (Home) and Belgium (Away).
AGONAsport’s Marios Antoniou breaks down the Cypriot squad:
AEK Larnaka: Simon called up five players from his former team, including veterans Antonis Georgallides (GK) and Konstantinos Charalambides (RMF). Vincent Laban (CMF) is a great tool for the Cypriot midfield, while Marios Antoniadis (LB/CB) and Nestor Mytidis (CF) can provide options for the defensive and offensive lines, respectively.
AEL Limassol: Andreas Avraam (LB/LMF) is one of the better choices for the left side, while Marios Nikolaou (DMF) is a good backup for the midfield.
Anorthosis: Giorgos Economides (DMF) won a call-up with his recent good performances and can surely help the Cypriot midfield.
APOEL Nicosia: With George Efraim out due to injury and Stathis Aloneftis retired from the national team, only three players will represent APOEL in the Cypriot squad. Giorgos Merkis (CB) along with Laifis and Katelaris are first ditch options for the Cypriot defence while Andreas Makris (RW) and Nectarios Alexandrou (LB/LMF) will likely help out from the bench.
Apollon Limassol: Giorgos Vasileiou (LB/LMF) recent performance against Everton, exemplified his potential on the pitch, however Simon has multiple options for the Left side. Marios Stylianou (RB) was called up to replace Konstantinos Mintikkis, who is unavailable due to injury, and is the number two behind Jason Demetriou in the right back position.
Aris Limassol: On-loan from APOEL, Neophytos Michael will be the third goalkeeper in the squad.
Doxa Katokopias: Vassilis Papafotis (AMF) has been a part of APOEL’s first team for years, however after joining Doxa on loan, he earned his first call up. He will be a backup option and has a promising future ahead of him.
Omonoia Nicosia: The biggest absence is Demetris Christofi, however all three Omonoia call ups could be in starting XI.. Konstantinos Panagi is the number one choice for the goalkeeper’s position. Renato Margaca (LB/LMF/CMF) can provide options in multiple positions while Fanos Katelaris (CB/DMF) is a great addition to the Cypriot defense.
Kerkyra: Kostakis Artymatas (DMF) is on loan from APOEL at Kerkyra and can provide great help in the midfield if needed.
Estoril Praia: Chambos Kyriakou (DMF) is on loan from Apollon and is considered one of the best Cypriot midfielders. He will surely be in Cyprus’ starting XI in the final qualifiers.
FC Copenhagen: Cyprus’ biggest offensive weapon, Pieros Sotiriou, will lead the Cypriot offense.
SV Zulte Waregem: Grigoris Kastanos (AMF) is considered the future of Cypriot football and is currently playing on loan from Juventus at Belgian side Zulte Waregem.
Southend United: Jason Demetriou (RB) is the first option for the right back position and is a valuable, experienced member of the squad.
Standard Liege: Konstantinos Laifis (CB) is enjoying his second season in Belgium on loan from Olympiacos. He will be the rock in the Cypriot defense against Greece and Belgium, with hopes of keeping his opponents off the score sheet.