Atalanta v Apollon background

Atalanta have made a positive start in Group E but know from Everton's matchday two experience that Apollon Limassol are not to be underestimated.

Atalanta players after their matchday two game against Lyon
Atalanta players after their matchday two game against Lyon ©Getty Images

Atalanta have made a positive start in UEFA Europa League Group E but know from Everton's matchday two experience that Apollon Limassol are not to be underestimated.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time and it is Atalanta's first encounter with Cypriot opponents.

• Apollon are yet to win in four matches against Serie A teams – two away defeats and two home draws.

• No club from Cyprus has beaten Italian opposition in 22 UEFA competition matches, with all 12 previous games between the countries' clubs in Italy producing home victories. These include AC Milan's nominal 'away' fixture against Dighenis Akritas Morphou in the 1971/72 UEFA Cup, which was played in Trieste.

Highlights: Lyon 1-1 Atalanta
Highlights: Lyon 1-1 Atalanta

Form guide
• Atalanta are unbeaten in six European home games (W3 D3), a run stretching back to a 2-1 loss to Mechelen in the 1988 European Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals.

• Apollon are unbeaten in five in Europe (W2 D3), including draws in their three most recent matches.

• Fourth in Serie A last term, Atalanta are back in Europe for the first time since 1990/91, when they were eliminated by Internazionale in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

• 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 season, also beating champions APOEL in the domestic cup final.

Highlights: Everton 2-2 Apollon
Highlights: Everton 2-2 Apollon

Trivia and links
• The journey from Limassol to Reggio Emilia, where Atalanta are playing their European home games, is around 2,200km.

• Apollon's Valentin Roberge became the first player to be sent off in this season's group stage when he was dismissed at Everton on matchday two.

• Vitória SC's Guillermo Celis and Apollon's Anton Maglica were the most-fouled players on the first two matchdays, with ten infringements on each of them.

• Suspended for this match: Valentin Roberge (Apollon).

• Misses next match if booked: Héctor Yuste (Apollon).

The coaches
• A one-time Juventus youth player, Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini mostly played in Italy's lower divisions, but worked his way up to the top tier as a coach, leading Inter, Genoa and Palermo before taking the job in Bergamo in 2016.

• 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.