APOEL will look to dispel any lingering memories of their last home game against Schalke as UEFA Europa League Group K brings the sides back together.
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APOEL FC will look to avoid a second heavy home defeat against FC Schalke 04 as the sides come together in UEFA Europa League Group K almost seven years to the day since their last Nicosia encounter.
• In their only previous meetings, Fred Rutten's Schalke beat Ivan Jovanović's APOEL 5-2 on aggregate in the first round of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup.
• The teams for their meeting in Nicosia, a 4-1 Schalke win on 16 September 2008, were:
APOEL: Morfis, Broerse, Haxhi, Christou, Nuno Morais, Poursaitides (Alexandrou 65), Charalambides, Kosowski (Onwuachi 83), Hélio Pinto, Kontis, Żewłakow (Mirosavljević 65).
Schalke: Fährmann, Westermann, Kobiashvili, Bordon, Rakitić, Asamoah (Halil Altıntop 74), Farfán, Rafinha, Krstajić (Höwedes 60), Vicente Sánchez (Løvenkrands 82), Engelaar.
• APOEL have won just one of their 14 meetings with German clubs: W1 D1 L12 (W1 D0 L6 as the home team – W0 D1 L6 as the away team).
• Schalke are unbeaten in four games against Cypriot sides: W2 D2 L0 (W0 D2 L0 at home – W2 D0 L0 in Cyprus). They have scored nine goals in their two games on the island.
• APOEL are without a win in six European home games (D3 L3) having scored just twice during that run.
• Schalke have won their last two European away games, most notably prevailing 4-3 at Real Madrid CF in their last continental outing, in last season's UEFA Champions League round of 16.
• APOEL failed to make it through this group stage on their only previous appearance in 2013/14.
• Schalke have made it to the round of 32 in two of their previous three UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns. They won the competition in 1997, beating FC Internazionale Milano on penalties in the two-legged final.
Trivia and links
• The journey from Gelsenkirchen to Nicosia is not far off 2,800km.
• APOEL's Constantinos Charalambides (FC Carl Zeiss Jena) and Boy Waterman (TSV Alemannia Aachen) have German league experience.
• APOEL are one of ten domestic champions in this season's group stage, along with KF Skenderbëu (Albania), Qarabağ FK (Azerbaijan), FC Viktoria Plzeň (Czech Republic), FC Midtjylland (Denmark), KKS Lech Poznań (Poland), FK Partizan (Serbia), Celtic FC (Scotland), Molde FK (Norway) and FC Basel 1893 (Switzerland).
• Hired as APOEL coach this summer, Temuri Ketsbaia travelled widely as a midfielder, and scored 17 goals in 49 international appearances for Georgia. Having coached Anorthosis Famagusta FC and Olympiacos FC, he was in charge of Georgia from 2009-14.
• André Breitenreiter took over at FC Schalke 04, having led SC Paderborn 07 to promotion in 2013/14, and then steered them momentarily to the top of the Bundesliga. An attacking midfielder, he started his career with Hannover 96 and Hamburger SV but spent the bulk of his playing days in the lower leagues.