Recent form between Cypriot and French sides suggests APOEL FC may be on course for a change of fortune as FC Girondins de Bordeaux come to Nicosia in Group F.
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APOEL FC can ill afford a third successive UEFA Europa League Group F defeat as they take on an FC Girondins de Bordeaux side revived by their matchday three result.
• Henrique's late goal in France secured a 2-1 win for Bordeaux when the sides first met on matchday three, in what was Les Girondins' first experience of Cypriot opponents.
• APOEL have played five games against French clubs, with their record reading W1 D0 L4 (W1 D0 L1 at home – W0 D0 L3 in France). Their last home encounter with a French team was a memorable one, APOEL beating Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 in normal time and then 4-3 on penalties to win a 2011/12 UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie, having lost the first leg 1-0.
• Since AJ Auxerre won 10-1 at Nea Salamis FC in the 1997 UEFA Intertoto Cup, no French club has won – or indeed scored in standard play – in four encounters between sides from the two nations on Cypriot soil: a draw followed by three home wins. Most recently, Apollon Limassol FC beat OGC Nice 2-0 in Nicosia on the way to a 2-1 aggregate victory in this season's UEFA Europa League play-offs.
• APOEL have featured in the UEFA Champions League group stage twice, famously making it to the quarter-finals in 2011/12, but this is their first participation in the UEFA Europa League group stage.
• APOEL were reinstated into the UEFA Europa League after being drawn to replace Fenerbahçe SK following the Turkish club's exclusion from the 2013/14 UEFA competitions. They have not won in nine European games (D5 L4).
• After getting through the group stage, Bordeaux reached last season's UEFA Europa League round of 16. They also made it through this group stage at the first attempt in 2007/08.
• Bordeaux have not won in three European away games in 2013: a draw followed by two defeats.
• APOEL midfielder Selim Benachour started his career with hometown club Paris Saint-Germain FC and also played for FC Martigues and ES Troyes AC on loan before leaving France.
• APOEL's Guinean forward Esmaël Gonçalves – aka Isma – also started his career in France with Nice, where he and Bordeaux's David Bellion were briefly team-mates during a loan spell for the latter in spring 2011.
• APOEL are among nine domestic champions in this season's group stage along with Group F rivals Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC, NK Maribor (Slovenia), FC Sheriff (Moldova), PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria), Legia Warszawa (Poland), FC Shakhter Karagandy (Kazakhstan), GNK Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) and IF Elfsborg (Sweden).
• APOEL parted company with Portuguese coach Paulo Sérgio the day after their matchday two loss to Eintracht Frankfurt. The former Heart of Midlothian FC and CFR 1907 Cluj boss had arrived this summer following the departure of Ivan Jovanović but oversaw just three victories in 11 games, including a 1-0 win against Apollon Limassol FC in the Cypriot Super Cup, and was replaced by Giorgos Donis on 11 October.
• Born in Germany, Donis played as a winger for, among others, Panathinaikos FC, Blackburn Rovers FC and AEK Athens FC, and won 24 caps for Greece, before turning his hand to coaching at Ilisiakos FC. He then led Larissa FC to the top flight in 2005 and Greek Cup glory the following year, before stints with AEK, Atromitos FC and PAOK FC.
• Francis Gillot led Bordeaux to the UEFA Europa League round of 16 and their fourth French Cup in 2012/13, his second season in charge since joining from FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. A solid defender for RC Lens and RC Strasbourg, he started his coaching career with Lens where his frankness, faith in young players and attacking style proved popular, and he was then in charge of Sochaux from 2008 to 2011.