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Paris v APOEL background

Paris Saint-Germain will take a big step towards the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds if they can get the better of APOEL FC again on matchday four.

Edinson Cavani celebrates his late winner for Paris at APOEL
Edinson Cavani celebrates his late winner for Paris at APOEL ©AFP/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain will look to take a big step towards the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds when they host APOEL FC on matchday four.

• The Ligue 1 side's 1-0 victory at APOEL last time out kept them top of Group E and another victory would guarantee qualification should AFC Ajax fail to beat FC Barcelona in Amsterdam.

Previous meetings
• Paris defeated APOEL 3-0 on aggregate when the clubs met in the 1993/94 European Cup Winners' Cup first round. They prevailed 1-0 in Nicosia – where Constantinos Fasouliotis had a penalty saved by Bernard Lama in the final minute – and won the return leg 2-0 at Parc des Princes.

• The lineups in Paris on 28 September 1993 were:
Paris: Lama, Sassus, Roche, Ricardo, Colleter, Le Guen, Fournier (Bravo 46), Raí (Cobos 60), Valdo, Gravelaine, Ginola.
APOEL: Petridis, Cleanthous, Kudinov, Magnitis (Miamiliotis 78), Kosta, Hadjiloucas, Nwakanma, Mihailović, Fasouliotis, Sotiriou, Ioannou (Ppounas 46).

Match background

• With their 3-2 victory over Barcelona on matchday two, the French champions made it 30 matches unbeaten at home in UEFA competition (20 wins, ten draws). This run dates back to a 4-2 loss to Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC in the UEFA Cup group stage in November 2006.

• Laurent Blanc's men have won their last four UEFA Champions League home games and are 11 matches unbeaten on their own turf in the competition, since a 3-1 loss to PFC CSKA Moskva in December 2004.

• Bottom-placed APOEL's only point from three games so far came from their 1-1 home draw with Ajax.

• The Cypriot club are still seeking a first away victory in the UEFA Champions League proper; their record from nine matches is W0 D5 L4.

• In Europe this season, APOEL drew at HJK Helsinki (2-2) and Aalborg BK (1-1) in the qualifying rounds, then lost 1-0 at Barcelona.

• APOEL lost on both their previous visits to France. They went down 1-0 at Olympique Lyonnais in the first leg of their 2011/12 UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie – eventually winning 4-3 on penalties after a 1-0 second-leg success – and fell 2-1 at FC Girondins de Bordeaux in last term's UEFA Europa League group stage.

Coach and player links
• Blanc struck his first goal for France in a 2-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying victory over Cyprus in Toulouse in November 1989.

• He encountered Cypriot club opposition as a player with Barcelona, beating AEK Larnaca FC 2-0 at home and drawing 0-0 away in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round.

• Giorgos Donis faced French opponents once as a player, appearing for Panathinaikos FC in a 3-1 home success over FC Nantes in the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Zlatan Ibrahimović hit his first European goal in Ajax's UEFA Cup first-round victory over Apollon Limassol FC in 2001/02. He got the opener in Ajax's 2-0 home win and struck again in their 3-0 away triumph.

• In the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage, Ibrahimović tackled Anorthosis Famagusta FC with FC Internazionale Milano, playing in their 1-0 home victory and 3-3 away draw.

• Maxwell played alongside Ibrahimović in both those matches in Cyprus, featuring as a substitute both times.

• French-born Rafik Djebbour began his career in AJ Auxerre's youth ranks. In the 2007/08 UEFA Cup he scored for Panionios GSS on his European debut in a 2-1 first-round win at FC Sochaux-Montbéliard and was also on target against Bordeaux (2-3 h) in the group stage.

• With Olympiacos FC in the UEFA Champions League, Djebbour maintained his 100% record on French soil with victories at Olympique de Marseille (1-0, 2011/12 group stage) and Montpellier Hérault SC (2-1, 2012/13 group stage).

• APOEL's Carlão made 128 league outings for Sochaux (2008–14), suffering a 5-0 defeat by Paris at the Parc des Princes last December.

• With Liverpool FC and AS Roma, John Arne Riise figured in European ties against Auxerre, Bordeaux and Marseille and has a record of seven wins and one defeat from eight games.

• Riise played 44 league matches for AS Monaco FC (1998–2001), scoring four goals.

Match facts

• Paris are 16 games unbeaten in 2014/15, including victory in the French Super Cup.

• Maxwell and David Luiz were rested on Saturday, while Blaise Matuidi and Marco Verratti came off the bench, as Paris recovered from behind to defeat FC Lorient 2-1. Marquinhos, who had not played since matchday two because of a thigh injury, made his return.

• Lucas converted two penalties in a 3-0 win against Bordeaux on 25 October, taking his tally of league goals for the campaign to five – as many as he scored last term.

• Making his first appearance for a month following a hamstring injury, Ezequiel Lavezzi completed the scoring versus Bordeaux.

• The capital club have won their last four matches, their best run of form since posting 11 successive victories between 14 February and 5 April.

• On 31 October, Adrien Rabiot, yet to play this season, extended his contract until June 2019.

• Ibrahimović was Ligue 1 top scorer in each of the last two seasons, registering 56 times in 67 appearances in all. He has five in as many top-flight outings this term.

• The Sweden captain has not played since 21 September because of a left heel problem.

• George Weah is Paris' club record scorer in the UEFA Champions League with 15 goals. Ibrahimović has 13 for the club.

• Ibrahimović is among the 23 players nominated for the 2014 FIFA Ballon d'Or. A three-man shortlist will be announced on 1 December, with the winner revealed on 12 January.

• APOEL lead the Cypriot First Division with 22 points from eight games. At the same stage last season they were nine points worse off.

• Two goals from Cillian Sheridan, his first since 13 September, set APOEL en route to a 4-0 success at Ethnikos Achnas FC on Saturday – their joint biggest win of the season.

• Having scored the decisive goal in a 2-1 victory at Othellos Athienou FC ahead of matchday three, Djebbour was on target as APOEL beat Nea Salamis Famagusta FC 1-0 on 27 October.

• The matchday three loss to Paris is Donis's team's only defeat in their last eight outings.

• APOEL have conceded just two goals in eight home fixtures this term.