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Lyon v Apollon background

Lyon need only avoid defeat on matchday five to confirm a top-two finish in Group E, although Apollon would keep alive their own hopes with a victory in France.

Lyon need a point to make sure of going through
Lyon need a point to make sure of going through ©AFP/Getty Images

Level on eight points at the top of UEFA Europa League Group E with Atalanta, Lyon will be through to the knockout phase in tandem with the Italian club if they avoid defeat at home to a tenacious Apollon side who have become specialists in scoring late equalising goals.

Third-placed Apollon, who are five points behind Lyon, will be out if they do not win.

Previous meetings
• The clubs met in European competition for the first time on matchday one, a 93rd-minute equaliser from Adrián Sardinero earning Apollon a point in a 1-1 draw after Memphis Depay's penalty had given Lyon the lead.

• In Lyon's only previous UEFA encounter with Cypriot opposition, they took on APOEL in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, trading 1-0 home wins before losing the tie 4-3 on penalties in Nicosia.

• In their only other encounters with a French side, Apollon got the better of Nice in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League play-offs, winning 2-0 at home and holding on to progress following a 1-0 loss in France.

Form guide
• Lyon have won five of their last six home games in the UEFA Europa League, drawing the other. However, the 3-0 win against Everton on matchday four was their first clean sheet during that run.

• Lyon remain undefeated at home in the UEFA Europa League group stage (W6 D2).

• Apollon's 94th-minute equaliser at home to Atalanta last time out means that the Cypriot club have now scored in their last 12 European fixtures; four of the last five have ended in draws.

• Lyon were semi-finalists last season, when they lost to Ajax having transferred from the UEFA Champions League group stage. They won all four of their home games in the knockout phase, scoring 16 goals in the process.

• 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, beating champions APOEL in the domestic cup final.

Highlights: Apollon 1-1 Lyon

Links and trivia
• The journey from Limassol to Lyon is a little short of 2,700km.

• Apollon's squad includes French centre-back Valentin Roberge, who played B-team football for Guingamp and Paris Saint-Germain before heading abroad. He last played in France for Reims, on loan from Sunderland in 2014/15.

• Roberge became the first player to be sent off in this season's group stage when he was dismissed at Everton on matchday two, incurring a two-match ban he has now completed.

• Suspended for next match if booked: Héctor Yuste, Esteban Sachetti (Apollon).

• The Stade de Lyon is the venue for this season's UEFA Europa League final, on 16 May 2018.

The coaches
• Born in Lyon, Bruno Génésio came through the club's ranks as a midfielder, playing for the senior side from 1985 to 1995. He returned to the club as assistant coach in 2011 before taking sole command in December 2015.

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