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Lyon aiming to end APOEL's fairy-tale run

APOEL FC have already made history as the first Cypriot side in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League and Olympique Lyonnais will be determined that their exploits end there.

Background: Lyon v APOEL ©Getty Images

Having already become the first team from Cyprus to reach the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League, APOEL FC will try to extend their history-making run when they visit Olympique Lyonnais for the first leg of their last-16 tie.

• APOEL have enjoyed an impressive campaign so far, topping Group G. Rémi Garde's Lyon finished runners-up behind Real Madrid CF in Group D only after an astonishing escape act in their last fixture – winning 7-1 at GNK Dinamo Zagreb to overtake AFC Ajax on goal difference.

Match background
• Lyon have experience on their side entering this contest – they are competing in the round of 16 for the ninth season running. That said, after three successive quarter-final appearances between 2004 and 2006, they have fallen at this hurdle in four of the last five campaigns, the only exception being 2009/10 when they reached the semi-finals. Last term, under Claude Puel, they bowed out at this stage against Real Madrid.

• Lyon have lost at home only once at this stage of the UEFA Champions League, 2-0 against AS Roma in the 2006/07 edition. Their Stade de Gerland record in round of 16 matches is W4 D3 L1.

• The Ligue 1 side have had mixed fortunes at home this term. After wins against FC Rubin Kazan and Dinamo Zagreb in the play-offs and group stage respectively, they lost to Real Madrid and were held 0-0 by Ajax – a result that looked to have cost them qualification prior to that victory in Zagreb.

• While Lyon have never faced Cypriot opposition before, this is APOEL's second tie against a French team – they went down 3-0 on aggregate to Paris Saint-Germain FC in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round. Jean-Luc Sassus hit the only goal of the first leg in Nicosia before Paul Le Guen and Xavier Gravelaine inflicted further damage on APOEL in Paris.

• Ivan Jovanović's APOEL recorded three successive away draws in the group stage, avoiding defeat at FC Shakhtar Donetsk, FC Porto and FC Zenit St Petersburg. Including the qualifying rounds and play-offs, their away record this season is W2 D3 L1. In those six games their miserly defence has conceded only three goals, keeping three clean sheets.

Team ties
• Aílton came off the bench to score for FC København in a 3-1 defeat by Olympique de Marseille in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League round of 32 – a result that confirmed a 6-2 aggregate loss. As a substitute for FCK in the group stage of the 2008/09 competition, he saw Bafétimbi Gomis hit AS Saint-Étienne's opening goal in a 3-1 loss to Les Verts in Copenhagen.

• Briand and Yoann Gourcuff helped France beat Nuno Morais's Portugal in a group match at the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Championship final tournament.

• Briand was a scorer for France in a 2-0 win against Athos Solomou's Cyprus in a European U21 Championship qualifier in October 2005.

• Constantinos Charalambides and Marios Ilia suffered a 4-0 defeat in France with the Cyprus national team in a 2006 World Cup qualifier in October 2005. Along with Marinos Satsias they also featured in the earlier 2-0 home reverse in October 2004. Satsias is a veteran of an even heavier loss to Les Bleus – 5-0 at the Stade de France in UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying.

• Lisandro helped FC Porto record three Portuguese Liga victories against Kaká's A. Académica de Coimbra between 2006 and 2008.