Debutants AEL and Mönchengladbach meet

Both new to a UEFA competition group stage, AEL Limassol FC and VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach kick off their Group C campaigns full of hope that they can make an impression.

Mönchengladbach celebrate a Bundesliga goal
Mönchengladbach celebrate a Bundesliga goal ©Getty Images

AEL Limassol FC have a good home run going as they make their UEFA Europa League Group C debut against a team that also lost out in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Previous meetings
• The sides have never met before and this is AEL's first encounter with German opponents.

• Mönchengladbach's only previous encounter with Cypriot opponents saw them come up against Enosis Pezoporikou Amol FC – who would later merge with Pezoporikos Larnaca FC to form AEK Larnaca FC – in the 1970/71 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round.

• EPA played the home leg in the German city of Augsburg, and lost 6-0, before visiting Mönchengladbach for the second leg. The German side won 10-0 – it remains their biggest win in UEFA competition.

Match background
• Cypriot champions AEL and Mönchengladbach are making their debuts in a UEFA competition group stage, after losing out in the UEFA Champions League play-offs to RSC Anderlecht and FC Dynamo Kyiv respectively.

• AEL have won their last five UEFA competition home games since losing 1-0 against FK DAC 1904 Dunajská Streda on 23 August 1987.

• AEL last played in this competition in 2002/03, when they lost 5-2 on aggregate to Ferencvárosi TC in the first round of the UEFA Cup.

• Mönchengladbach have won their last three European away games since going down 1-0 at Feyenoord in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals.

Team facts
• AEL's Angolan midfielder Gilberto turns 20 the day after the match.

• Mönchengladbach's Mike Hanke and AEL's Michalis Constantinou met in a 1-1 UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying draw between Germany and Cyprus in Nicosia, and AEL captain Marios Nicolaou and defender Christis Theophilou were also in the lineup when Germany won the return fixture 4-0 in Hannover.

• AEL's Edwin Ouon and Mönchengladbach's Igor De Camargo may recognise each other from their time in Belgian football in the early 2000s: while at R. Antwerp FC, Ouon came up against KRC Genk and K. Heusden-Zolder sides featuring De Camargo, with the latter recording two draws and a win.

• Mönchengladbach's Thorben Marx visited the GSP Stadium with a former club, Hertha BSC Berlin. He was an unused substitute as the capital club beat APOEL FC 1-0 in a 2005/06 UEFA Cup first round tie.

• Mönchengladbach's Spanish defender Álvaro Domínguez also has some experience of the GSP Stadium, having faced APOEL when Club Atlético de Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw in a UEFA Champions League group stage game back in 2009.

• Mönchengladbach's Swedish defender Oscar Wendt has less happy memories of the stadium: his FC København side were beaten 3-1 in Nicosia as they lost out to APOEL in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League play-offs.

• AEL coach Pambos Christodoulou was a midfielder with Olympiakos Nicosia FC and AEK Larnaca FC in the 1990s, returning to his first club Doxa Katokopia FC to start his coaching career in the mid-2000s. He took his attacking style – and Portuguese forward Henrique – with him to Olympiakos and then AEL, winning the Cypriot title in his first campaign with the latter in 2011/12.

• As a midfielder, Mönchengladbach coach Lucien Favre won the 1984/85 Swiss title with Servette FC and 24 caps for Switzerland. He won further Swiss Cups as a coach with Servette and FC Zürich, as well as two titles with the latter. He has specialised in creating competitive sides in Germany on modest budgets, finishing fourth in the Bundesliga with Hertha in 2008/09 and Mönchengladbach in 2011/12.