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Apollon v Atalanta background

Atalanta could seal a place in the round of 32 with victory in Limassol but Apollon are hungry for a first Group E win – they will have to do something no other Cypriot side have done, though.

Apollon's Esteban Sachetti vies with Bryan Cristante of Atalanta
Apollon's Esteban Sachetti vies with Bryan Cristante of Atalanta ©AFP/Getty Images

With seven points from their first three UEFA Europa League Group E fixtures, Atalanta are in a strong position to qualify – and could do so with two games to spare if they post a second victory in successive matchdays against Apollon Limassol.

Should Atalanta collect three points and Everton fail to win away to Lyon, the Italian club will be certain of a top-two finish.

Previous meetings
• The teams came face to face for the first time on matchday three in Reggio Emilia, with Atalanta seeing off their Cypriot visitors 3-1 thanks to goals from Josip Iličić, Andrea Petagna and Remo Freuler; Maltese international André Schembri was on target for Apollon.

• Apollon are yet to win in five matches against Serie A sides – three away defeats and two home draws.

• No club from Cyprus has beaten Italian opposition in 23 UEFA competition fixtures.

Highlights: Atalanta 3-1 Apollon
Highlights: Atalanta 3-1 Apollon

Form guide
• Apollon have scored at least one goal in each of their last 11 European games (W4 D4 L3).

• Atalanta have only ever won one away match in European competition – 1-0 against Fenerbahçe in the second round of the 1990/91 UEFA Cup.

• Apollon competed in back-to-back UEFA Europa League group stages in 2013/14 and 2014/15, but have yet to make it to the round of 32. They finished third in Cyprus last season, also beating champions APOEL in the domestic cup final.

• Fourth in Serie A last term, Atalanta are back in Europe for the first time since 1990/91, when they were eliminated by Internazionale in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Bergamo to Nicosia, where Apollon are playing their European home games, is around 2,200km.

• Apollon's Valentin Roberge became the first player to be sent off in this season's group stage when he was dismissed at Everton on matchday two. He remains suspended for this fixture.

• Suspended for next match if booked: Andrea Masiello (Atalanta); Héctor Yuste (Apollon).

The coaches
• Sofronis Avgousti has coached home-town team Apollon since 2016, having previously served the club in three separate spells as a goalkeeper. The 11-times capped international was also on the books at AEK Larnaca, Aris Limassol and APOEL.

• A one-time Juventus youth player, Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini mostly played in Italy's lower divisions but worked his way up to the top tier as a coach, leading Inter, Genoa and Palermo before taking the job in Bergamo in 2016.