UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Astana v APOEL background

Astana have not lost in their last 11 European home games but need a win against APOEL and help from Young Boys if they are to have something to fight for on matchday six.

APOEL's George Efrem vies for space with Astana goalkeeper Nenad Erić and Dmitri Shomko
APOEL's George Efrem vies for space with Astana goalkeeper Nenad Erić and Dmitri Shomko ©AFP/Getty Images

Astana need to make the most of their home form in UEFA competition if they are to have any hope of reaching the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

• APOEL are through from Group B if they win and will qualify with a draw if Young Boys do not win at Olympiacos.

• Astana must win and hope Olympiacos lose to stay in contention.

Previous meetings
• APOEL came from behind to beat Astana 2-1 on matchday one in what was the clubs' third UEFA competition meeting.

• Astana defeated APOEL 2-1 on aggregate in last season's UEFA Champions League play-offs, a 1-0 home victory preceding a 1-1 second-leg draw in Cyprus.

• The teams for their first encounter in Astana on 18 August 2015, in which Baurzhan Dzholchiyev headed the winner, were:
Astana: Erić, Aničić, Maksimović, Zhukov (Beysebekov 85), Kéthévoama (Muzhikov 90+2), Nuserbayev (Kabananga 68), Dzholchiyev, Ilić, Postnikov, Shomko, Cañas.
APOEL: Waterman, Carlão, Efrem (Štilić 63), De Vincenti, Leal, Alexandrou (Piątkowski 46), Makridis (Sotiriou 85), Antoniades, Astiz, Morais, Sérgio.

Matchday one: APOEL 2-1 Astana
Matchday one: APOEL 2-1 Astana

Form guide
• Astana are unbeaten in 11 European home games (W5 D6) but have drawn both of their home group matches this term.

• With nine points after four games, APOEL have already matched their best record in a UEFA group stage, having also taken nine points in winning their UEFA Champions League section in 2011/12.

• Astana are making their UEFA Europa League group stage debut, having participated in the UEFA Champions League group stage last term.

• APOEL have failed to make it to the round of 32 in both of their previous UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Nicosia to Astana is around 3,500km.

• Astana's Igor Shitov and APOEL's Renan Bressan, his fellow Belarusian international, won two league titles as team-mates at BATE Borisov in 2010 and 2011.

• APOEL goalkeeper Boy Waterman is one game shy of 50 UEFA club competition appearances.

• Astana claimed their third successive Kazakh title on 26 October; their domestic league season is now over.

The coaches
• Former Bulgaria midfielder Stanimir Stoilov has won three league titles since coming to Kazakhstan in 2014, as well as leading Astana into last autumn's UEFA Champions League group stage – a phase he had earlier graced as coach of Levski Sofia.

• APOEL's Danish-born coach Thomas Christiansen was once a trainee at Barcelona, playing in their 1992 UEFA Super Cup success, and scored once in two games for Spain. He joined APOEL this summer after two promising seasons as AEK Larnaca boss.