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Anorthosis aiming for Bremen boost

Anorthosis Famagusta FC lie in second place in Group B and after coming close to a famous victory against FC Internazionale Milano in their last game, they could clinch a qualifying berth by beating Werder Bremen at home.

Cédric Bardon celebrates scoring on Matchday 4
Cédric Bardon celebrates scoring on Matchday 4 ©Getty Images

Anorthosis Famagusta FC came close to a famous victory against two-time European champions FC Internazionale Milano on Matchday 4 and, with five points from four games, they are well placed to claim one of the two qualifying places in Group B. Werder Bremen are at the foot of the section with just three points but a first win could take them up to second place.

• The Cypriot debutants gave Inter a real fright in the GSP Stadium in their most recent UEFA Champions League outing and Nikolaos Frousos's goal five minutes into the second half pointed them towards victory only for Julio Cruz to equalise with ten minutes remaining. Mario Balotelli had given Inter an early lead before Nicolás Burdisso's slip allowed Cédric Bardon to level. Marco Materazzi put the visitors ahead once more but Georgios Panagi equalised again before half-time. The point maintained Anorthosis' place behind leaders Inter and a Matchday 5 victory would put them through to the first knockout round provided the Serie A champions also win at home to Panathinaikos FC.

• Also on 4 November Bremen suffered a 3-0 home defeat by Panathinaikos and face a difficult task to continue their fifth campaign in Europe's premier club competition beyond the group stage. Vangelis Mantzios opened the scoring with Giorgos Karagounis making it two. The visitors' emphatic victory was then sealed by Petri Pasanen's own goal.

• When these sides met on 16 September, Thomas Schaaf's Bremen team missed several chances and were left frustrated. Claudio Pizarro, Mesut Özil and Hugo Almeida all failed to convert when well placed as Anorthosis earned a point on their group stage debut.

• The Cypriot champions then beat Panathinaikos 3-1 at home after a José Sarriegi own goal and a Siniša Dobrašinović header in the first 15 minutes gave them a marvellous start. Dimitris Salpingidis reduced arrears from the spot before Iraqi substitute Hawar Taher put the result beyond doubt with 12 minutes remaining.

• Temuri Ketsbaia's men faced a more difficult examination away to Inter three weeks later. They seemed to have weathered the first-half storm at San Siro when Adriano headed in the only goal of the game.

• In three previous home games with German visitors in UEFA club competition Anorthosis have scored just once. That came in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup first round against Karlsruher SC which ended 1-1. In the 1999/00 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round they drew 0-0 at home against Hertha BSC Berlin and lost 1-0 at home to FC Bayern München in the 1983/84 UEFA Cup first round. In a total of seven meetings with German opponents, home and away, Anorthosis have still to register a victory, although three of their last four meetings have ended all square.

• Before Matchday 1 Bremen had met sides from Cyprus on three occasions, two of which ended in 5-0 victories. Those came home and away in the European Champion Clubs' Cup preliminary round against APOEL FC in 1966/67. The Bundesliga runners-up also won 2-0 at Apollon Limassol FC in the 1996 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

• After their 0-0 draw on Matchday 1, Bremen drew confidence from their next two fixtures, coming from behind at San Siro after Inter led through Maicon's 13th-minute goal to earn a 1-1 draw thanks to an equaliser from Pizarro, who Inter coach José Mourinho had signed for Chelsea FC in summer 2007.

• Their two games with Panathinaikos began at the OACA Spiro Louis Stadium in what turned out to be a tense encounter. Bremen led in the 29th minute when Per Mertesacker lashed in a free-kick only for two superb headers from Mantzios either side of half-time to turn the match around. However, Almeida's late equaliser altered the script once again.

• Clemens Fritz scored for Germany in their 4-0 UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying victory against Cyprus in Hannover on 17 November 2007. Fellow Bremen defender Per Mertesacker also played in the game while Anorthosis duo Lambros Lambrou and Georgos Theodotou were on the opposite side.

• Lambrou and Theodotou were also in the Cyprus team that earned a 1-1 draw against Germany in November 2006, with Fritz in the visiting side.