APOEL v Paris background

APOEL FC have already beaten two Ligue 1 clubs at home this decade and now look to make it a hat-trick when they host Group F leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Zlatan Ibrahimović scored his first goal in UEFA club competition against Cypriot opposition
Zlatan Ibrahimović scored his first goal in UEFA club competition against Cypriot opposition ©AFP/Getty Images

APOEL FC continue their search for a first victory in Group F when they host Paris Saint-Germain on matchday three.

Previous meetings
• Paris beat 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 Nicosia on 14 September 1993 were:
APOEL: Petridis, Cleanthous, Kudinov, Ppounas, Kosta, Hadjiloucas, Nwakanma (Aristocleous 82), Mihailović, Fasouliotis, Sotiriou, Ioannou (Magnitis 22).
Paris: Lama, Sassus, Roche, Kombouaré (Cobos 33), Llacer, Fournier, Le Guen, Guérin, Bravo, Gravelaine, Ginola.

Match background

APOEL
• APOEL have one point to date in Group F after losing at FC Barcelona (0-1) and drawing with AFC Ajax (1-1) in Cyprus.

• They are unbeaten at home in Europe this term, earning qualifying victories over HJK Helsinki (2-0) and Aalborg BK (4-0) prior to the draw with Ajax.

• APOEL have twice beaten Ligue 1 teams at home this decade. They overcame Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 with Gustavo Manduca's goal in the second leg of their 2011/12 UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie – setting up a 4-3 shoot-out triumph – and downed FC Girondins de Bordeaux 2-1 in last term's UEFA Europa League group stage.

Paris
• Paris sit top of Group F after defeating Barcelona 3-2 last time out.

• With their 1-1 draw at Ajax on matchday one, the visitors have lost just two of their last ten UEFA Champions League away games, winning six.

• This is only their second visit to Cyprus, 21 years after first facing APOEL.

Coach and player links
• Laurent 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 goal in UEFA club competition in Ajax's UEFA Cup first-round victory over Apollon Limassol FC in 2001/02. He netted the opener in Ajax's 2-0 home win and struck again in their 3-0 away triumph at the GSP Stadium.

• 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 – again at the GSP Stadium.

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

• APOEL's Carlão made 128 league outings for FC Sochaux-Montbéliard (2008–14). Last December he suffered a 5-0 defeat by Paris at the Parc des Princes.

• With Liverpool FC and AS Roma, John Arne Riise figured in European ties against AJ Auxerre, Bordeaux and Olympique de 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

APOEL
• APOEL are five games unbeaten and have won six of their last nine games in all competitions.

• At home, APOEL were the strongest team in the Cypriot top flight last season, winning 15 of their 18 games and losing just once. They have picked up ten points from 12 on their own turf this term.

• Manduca has scored in four of APOEL's last five games.

• Riise provided two assists on his debut as APOEL won 3-1 at Ayia Napa FC on 20 September.

• Constantinos Charalambides, Tasos Kissas, Marios Antoniades, Nektarios Alexandrou, George Efrem, Kostakis Artymatas and Pieros Sotiriou were all in Cyprus' squad for 2-1 UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying defeats by Israel and Wales.

Paris
• Paris are 13 games unbeaten in 2014/15, including victory in the French Super Cup.

• Paris have won just three of their last 11 away games, dating back to the start of April.

• Edinson Cavani scored a penalty and was sent off as Paris won 3-1 at nine-man RC Lens on Friday. Yohan Cabaye equalised with his first Ligue 1 goal since April 2011.

• 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.

• Ibrahimović 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.

• Paris captain Thiago Silva has not played this term after injuring his right thigh in a 2-1 friendly victory over SSC Napoli on 11 August but is back in training.

• Blaise Matuidi captained France to victories at home to Portugal (2-1, 11 October) and in Armenia (3-0, 14 October).

• Jean-Christophe Bahebeck was in the France team that lost 4-3 on aggregate to Sweden in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs, despite winning the first leg 2-0 and leading the second on away goals with three minutes remaining.

*Subject to updates

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