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Anderlecht v APOEL background

Anderlecht have done the hard part of the task as they come into the home leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie against APOEL holding a 1-0 lead.

Anderlecht v APOEL background
Anderlecht v APOEL background ©AFP/Getty Images

Having ended APOEL's 33-match unbeaten home run with a 1-0 success in Nicosia, Anderlecht will hope they are destined for the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

• Suspended: Nuno Morais (APOEL)

• Within a booking of a suspension
Anderlecht: Frank Acheampong, Leander Dendoncker, Sofiane Hanni, Bram Nuytinck, Emmanuel Adjey Sowah, Uroš Spajić, Łukasz Teodorczyk, Isaac Kiese Thelin, Youri Tielemans
APOEL: Giorgos Efrem, Giorgos Merkis, Zhivko Milanov, Pieros Sotiriou

APOEL captain Nuno Morais is suspended for the second leg
APOEL captain Nuno Morais is suspended for the second leg©AFP/Getty Images

Previous meetings
• The clubs met for the first time in UEFA competition in the first leg, when Nicolae Stanciu scored the only goal just before the half-hour mark.

• Anderlecht's nine meetings with Cypriot sides have ended W6 D2 L1 (W4 at home).

• APOEL's seven games against Belgian teams have ended W0 D1 L6 (D1 L2 in Belgium). Those results include a 10-1 loss at Lierse in 1969.

Form guide
• Anderlecht have won four of their last five European home fixtures, scoring 16 goals in the process.

• APOEL are on a three-game European losing streak on their travels, but have scored at least once in all four of their UEFA Europa League away matches this season.

• Since lifting the UEFA Cup in 1983 – and losing the 1984 final – Anderlecht have not advanced beyond the last eight of the competition.

• UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists in 2011/12, APOEL have made it to the spring phase of the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League for the first time.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Nicosia to Brussels is around 2,900km.

Highlights: See Stanciu's Anderlecht winner
Highlights: See Stanciu's Anderlecht winner

• Anderlecht's Andy Najar celebrates his 24th birthday the day of the this game.

• APOEL's Spanish goalkeeper Urko Pardo was born in Brussels and played for Anderlecht at youth level before moving to Barcelona.

• APOEL boast Belgian talent in the form of Brazilian-born forward Igor de Camargo, who played for Genk, FC Brussels and Standard Liège as well as making nine senior international appearances for the Red Devils. De Camargo and Anderlecht's Adrien Trebel were team-mates at Standard (2014–15).

• Anderlecht (1983) are one of four former UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League winners in the round of 16 along with Borussia Mönchengladbach (1975 & 1979), Schalke (1997) and Ajax (1992).

• APOEL (CYP) are among four domestic champions in the round of 16 along with Beşiktaş (TUR), København (DEN) and Olympiacos (GRE).

• Belgium, with three clubs, is the nation most heavily represented in the round of 16. Only Germany and Russia, with two apiece, also have more than one club still involved.

• Anderlecht are sixth in the all-time UEFA competition appearance rankings with 387 matches. Only one team has conceded more goals in Europe than their 503 – Real Madrid, with 549, though they have played 125 more games.

• One of 12 Swedish players still involved in the round of 16, Anderlecht's Isaac Kiese Thielin is dreaming of playing in the UEFA Europa League final in his nation's capital, Stockholm.

Anderlecht boss René Weiler
Anderlecht boss René Weiler©AFP/Getty Images

The coaches
• Capped once by Switzerland, René Weiler is in his first season as Anderlecht coach having spent his first two years of coaching abroad with Nürnberg in Germany from 2014–16. The one-time defender established his reputation in his home country with Schaffhausen and Aarau.

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

Penalty shoot-outs
• Anderlecht have lost all three of their UEFA penalty shoot-outs:
L 4-1 A v Barcelona (1978/79 European Cup Winners' Cup second round)
L 4-3 A v Tottenham Hotspur (1983/84 UEFA Cup final)
L 3-2 H v Partizan (2010/11 UEFA Champions League play-offs)

• APOEL won their only previous UEFA penalty shoot-out:
W 4-3 H v Lyon (2011/12 UEFA Champions League round of 16)