APOEL FC can take comfort from being the only Cypriot club ever to have beaten German opponents as they welcome Eintracht Frankfurt in UEFA Europa League Group F.

Previous meetings

• The sides are meeting for the first time and this is also Eintracht’s first encounter with a Cypriot club.

• APOEL’s 12 meetings with German teams have ended W1 D1 L10 (W1 D0 L5 at home – W0 D1 L5 in Germany). Their 2-1 victory against Berliner FC Dynamo in the first round of the 1980/81 European Champion Clubs’ Cup remains the only victory for a Cypriot club in 38 meetings with German opponents, with the overall record of Cypriot sides against German teams a rather daunting W1 D5 L32.

• The balance of power between Cypriot and German clubs has shifted somewhat in recent years: five of the last eight UEFA club competition matches between the nations’ outfits have ended in draws.

Match background
• APOEL have featured in the UEFA Champions League group stage twice, famously making it to the quarter-finals in 2011/12, but this is their first participation in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• APOEL were reinstated into the UEFA Europa League after being drawn to replace Fenerbahçe SK following the Turkish club’s exclusion from the 2013/14 UEFA competitions. They have not won in seven European games, and their 0-0 draw against Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC on matchday one was their fifth stalemate in that seven-match spell.

• Back in Europe for the first time since failing to make it through the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage, Eintracht are unbeaten in six continental fixtures – three draws followed by three wins.

Team facts
• Eintracht’s Václav Kadlec scored the first goal of the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage, a calm finish from inside the area four minutes into his side’s 3-0 matchday one win against FC Girondins de Bordeaux.

• Eintracht’s on-loan Croatian striker Srdjan Lakić celebrates his 30th birthday on 2 October, the eve of the game against APOEL.

• APOEL midfielders Stathis Aloneftis and Constantinos Charalambides spent the 2007/08 season in Germany with FC Energie Cottbus and FC Carl Zeiss Jena respectively.

Coach information
• APOEL coach since May 2013, Paulo Sérgio is on his third consecutive foreign posting in as many seasons having led Heart of Midlothian FC to the Scottish Cup in 2011/12 and CFR 1907 Cluj to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 last season. A forward who spent most of his career outside the Portuguese top flight, he worked his way up to the Liga as a coach, and steered Sporting Clube de Portugal through the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage, eventually losing in the round of 32.

• Hired in May 2011, Armin Veh led Eintracht to promotion in his first season in charge and into Europe as sixth-place finishers in his second. As a midfielder, he was in the VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach squad that lost to Eintracht in the 1980 UEFA Cup final, before a broken leg ended his career. As a coach, he won the 2006/07 German title at VfB Stuttgart prior to less successful spells with VfL Wolfsburg and Hamburger SV.

Legia Warszawa and Apollon will both be looking to regain ground after disappointing starts in the competition when they meet for the first time in Warsaw.
No Cypriot club has ever avoided defeat in a game on Polish soil, and Legia Warszawa will look to maintain that record tonight.
“They are a great side just like the other teams in our group. Our group opponents play at another level, but we will try and compete just like in all our games,” said Apollon coach Christakis Christoforou, whose team will also face Italian side Lazio.
Apollon earned a 2-1 win over Alki at the weekend which lifted them to third in the league, a just a point behind leaders AEL.
“We know our limitations and we are not under any illusions in this competition,” added Christoforou.
“At the moment, our targets are to bring our budget down, get back into Europe next season and invest in young players. The Europa League serves as a great piece of experience both for the club and our youngsters.”
Legia’s squad includes two familiar faces in Helio Pinto and Dossa Junior. Pinto spent the 2005-2006 season on loan at Apollon prior to joining APOEL, while Portuguese-born Junior is a Cypriot international and has played for three teams in Cyprus, most recently Apollon’s great Limassol rivals AEL.
Apollon’s match kick’s off at 8pm, while APOEL’s starts at 10.05pm

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