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AaB v APOEL background

Aalborg BK are the lowest-ranked side in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, but will try to play above their station as they take on APOEL FC in Denmark.

AaB fans show their colours
AaB fans show their colours ©Getty Images

Aalborg BK have their sights on a third tilt at the UEFA Champions League group stage, but FC København's fate in 2009/10 will serve as a warning as they take on APOEL FC in the play-offs.

Previous meetings
• none

Form guide
AaB have yet to face Cypriot opponents, whereas APOEL have featured in all four UEFA games between Cypriot and Danish sides, with the record W1 D0 L3 (W1 D0 L1 at home – W0 D0 L2 in Denmark).

• Crucially, APOEL earned their first group stage qualification in 2009/10 by beating Denmark's FC København – coached by former AaB midfielder Ståle Solbakken – 3-2 on aggregate in the play-offs, despite losing the first leg 1-0 in Copenhagen. Current APOEL players Dionisios Chiotis, Nuno Morais and Constantinos Charalambides figured in those matches.

• The second leg of this tie will be APOEL's 150th UEFA club competition game; they have played 64 in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, 30 in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and 54 in Europe's top club tournament.

AaB are the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, 249th in the UEFA coefficients, yet have twice made it to the group stage – in 1995/96 and 2008/09. APOEL have also graced the group stage twice, notably reaching the quarter-finals in 2011/12.

AaB are without a goal in their last three European home matches (D2 L1) since a 2-0 success against Manchester City FC in the 2008/09 UEFA Europa League round of 16 – a tie they went on to lose on penalties.

Links and trivia
AaB goalkeeper Carsten Christensen celebrates his 28th birthday on 28 August – the day of the UEFA Champions League group stage draw. APOEL's Portuguese midfielder Tiago Gomes turned 29 on the eve of the first leg.

APOEL's Kostakis Artymatas and Pieros Sotiriou came up against AaB's Nikolaj Thomsen in a UEFA European Under-19 Championship fixture on 23 May 2012. Denmark won 6-2 but Sotiriou scored both Cyprus goals.

APOEL's Stathis Aloneftis and captain Charalambides were involved in Cyprus's 2-0 loss to Denmark in Copenhagen in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying; Charalambides, Nektarios Alexandrou and George Efrem also appeared in the return in Nicosia – a 4-1 Denmark victory.