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Mönchengladbach v Apollon background

VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach are in the hunt for a first victory in UEFA Europa League Group A, while Apollon Limassol FC are looking to break a Cypriot duck.

Mönchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer
Mönchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer ©AFP/Getty Images

VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach will look to get their first win on the board in UEFA Europa League Group A as Apollon Limassol FC strive to become the first Cypriot club to win a UEFA competition game in Germany.

Form guide
Gladbach have yet to concede in four UEFA outings against Cypriot opponents (W3 D1), and recorded their biggest European win against Cypriot guests, when they beat Enosis Pezoporikou Amol FC 10-0 in the second leg of a 1970/71 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round tie. The 'away' leg of that tie was staged in Germany too – in Augsburg, where Gladbach won 6-0.

• In 42 encounters between the nations' clubs in UEFA competition, there has – as yet – been just one Cypriot win (APOEL FC beating Berliner FC Dynamo 2-1 in Nicosia in a 1980/81 European Cup first round match). The Bundesliga sides have edged 34 of those fixtures.

Gladbach are unbeaten in five European home contests (W3 D2) and drew both of their opening Group A games 1-1.

Trivia and links
Gladbach's Thorgan Hazard and Apollon's Cameroonian forward Fabrice were team-mates while on loan at SV Zulte Waregem last season.

Apollon's Fotis Papoulis scored the first goal of the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group stage, nine minutes into their 3-2 matchday one win against FC Zürich.

• Having made their debut last season, Apollon are the first Cypriot side to have reached the UEFA Europa League group stage for a second time.

The coaches
• Swiss coach Lucien Favre is leading Mönchengladbach into a second UEFA Europa League group stage campaign, having steered them to the round of 32 in 2012/13. The former Switzerland midfielder won two national titles and a Swiss Cup in charge of FC Zürich, and coached Hertha BSC Berlin before taking over Mönchengladbach in 2011.

• On 8 October, Apollon parted company with coach Christakis Christoforou, who had been in charge since March 2013.

• Romanian coach Ioan Andone took charge of Apollon on 16 October, having previously coached in Cyprus when he led AC Omonia from 2005-07. Capped 55 times as a defender, Andone has worked as a coach in Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in recent years.

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