APOEL v Olympiacos background

APOEL and Olympiacos have both already qualified but are playing for first place in their matchday six meeting, with the hosts protecting a five-game unbeaten European home run.

APOEL secured a surprise victory against Olympiacos on matchday two
APOEL secured a surprise victory against Olympiacos on matchday two ©AFP/Getty Images

APOEL and Olympiacos have both already qualified, but they meet in Cyprus with top spot in Group B still to play for.

• Both teams are through; APOEL will clinch first place with a draw, while Olympiacos require victory to finish at the summit.

Previous meetings
• APOEL secured a shock 1-0 win at Olympiacos when the sides met for the first time in UEFA competition on matchday two.

• APOEL's 11 fixtures against Greek teams have ended W5 D3 L3 (W3 D1 L1 at home).

• Olympiacos's record in seven matches against clubs from Cyprus is W4 D1 L2 (W2 D0 L1 in Cyprus).

Form guide
• APOEL are unbeaten in five European home games this season (W4 D1). With nine points from five matchdays, APOEL have equalled their best record in a UEFA group stage, having also taken nine points in winning their UEFA Champions League section in 2011/12.

• But for that loss to APOEL, Olympiacos would be unbeaten in Group B (W2 D2); their last two games in the section both ended 1-1.

• APOEL confirmed their round of 32 place on matchday five, having failed to get through in their two previous UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns.

• Olympiacos reached the round of 32 in their one previous UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League group stage foray, in 2008/09.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Piraeus to Nicosia is around 900km.

• These sides are their respective countries' record title holders (Olympiacos with 43, APOEL with 25) and domestic cup winners (Olympiacos 27, APOEL 21).

• APOEL's Greek forward Yannis Gianniotas is on loan from Olympiacos.

• APOEL defender Mário Sérgio played under Olympiacos coach Paulo Bento at Sporting CP from 2005–06, but was loaned to Guimarães during that spell and later released by the club.

• Several APOEL players have Greek league experience: Argentinian midfielder Facundo Bertoglio (Asteras Tripolis, 2015–16), Nektarios Alexandrou (Larissa, 2006–08), Stathis Aloneftis (Larissa, 2005–07) and goalkeeper Urko Pardo (Iraklis, 2007–08).

The coaches
• 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 in Cyprus as AEK Larnaca boss.

• Paulo Bento was hired as Olympiacos coach in August 2016 following a brief interlude in Brazil. A player for Benfica and Sporting in his native Lisbon, he later won two Portuguese Cups as Sporting coach and was Portugal boss from September 2010 to September 2014.

• As a Portugal player, Bento once made a brief cameo in a 6-0 home victory over the Cypriots; subsequently, as national coach, his team won 4-0 in Nicosia in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying.

Chapecoense commemoration
Teams taking part in all of the matchday six UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League fixtures will observe a minute's silence to pay respect to the victims of last week's air disaster involving the Chapecoense team and accompanying delegation.

The Brazilian club lost most of their players and coaching staff in the accident, which occurred in Colombia, where Chapecoense were due to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atlético Nacional.

"European football is united in expressing its deepest sympathy to Chapecoense, the Brazilian Football Confederation [CBF], CONMEBOL and the families of all the victims," said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin. "This tragedy has shaken the world of football, and we would like to send our support to all of those affected by it."

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