Apollon v Lyon background

Apollon Limassol will hope that memories of a miserable European night will haunt Lyon as they return to Nicosia for their UEFA Europa League Group E opener.

Lyon's Nabil Fekir
Lyon's Nabil Fekir ©AFP/Getty Images

#EQUALGAME
This week, football fans watching UEFA Europa League matches in stadiums, online and on TV will witness the premiere of the new UEFA RESPECT TV ads, called #EqualGame. The adverts feature Ada Hegerberg, Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Cristiano Ronaldo and amateur players and will run throughout the season to promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility in European Football with the motto "Everyone has the right to enjoy football, no matter who you are, where you're from, or how you play." More information on the campaign and on the advertisements can be found in the accompanying media release and on the campaign website: www.equalgame.com.

Apollon Limassol will hope that memories of a miserable European night will haunt Lyon as they return to Nicosia for their UEFA Europa League Group E opener.

Previous meetings
• The clubs are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition, though Lyon have been to the GSP Stadium in Nicosia before – featuring in one of the most celebrated games in Cypriot football.

• In Lyon's only previous UEFA encounter with Cypriot opposition, they took on APOEL in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, trading 1-0 home wins before losing the tie 4-3 on penalties in Nicosia.

• In their only past match with a French side, Apollon unexpectedly got the better of Nice in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League play-offs, winning 2-0 at home and holding on to progress with a 1-0 loss in France.

Form guide
• Apollon are unbeaten in seven European home games (W5 D2), a run in which they have scored 18 goals.

• Lyon have lost their last three UEFA away fixtures.

• Apollon competed in back-to-back UEFA Europa League group stages in 2013/14 and 2014/15, but have yet to make it to the round of 32. They finished third in Cyprus last term, and beat champions APOEL in the domestic cup final.

• Semi-finalists last season, when they lost out to Ajax having transferred from the UEFA Champions League group stage, Lyon have won their last four UEFA Europa League home matches.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Lyon to Nicosia is a little short of 2,700km.

• Apollon boast French talent in the form of centre-back Valentin Roberge, who played B-team football for Guingamp and Paris Saint-Germain before heading abroad. He last played in France for Reims, on loan from Sunderland in 2014/15.

The coaches
• Sofronis Avgousti has coached home-town team Apollon since 2016, having previously served the club in three separate spells as a goalkeeper. The 11-times capped international was also on the books at AEK Larnaca, Aris Limassol and APOEL.

• Born in Lyon, Bruno Génésio came through the club's ranks as a midfielder, playing for the senior side from 1985–95, and returning as assistant coach in 2011 before taking sole command in December 2015.