APOEL and Sevilla are both already through to the round of 32, with the Spanish side having won all five Group A games.
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APOEL and Sevilla are both already through to the round of 32, the team from Cyprus having qualified on Matchday 5 as runners-up to the three-time UEFA Europa League winners, who have yet to drop a point in Group A.
• APOEL clinched their place in the knockout phase with a game to spare thanks to a 2-0 win at Dudelange and Sevilla's simultaneous victory by the same score at home to Qarabağ. The Cypriot champions have three points more than their counterparts from Azerbaijan plus a superior head-to-head record, while Sevilla are eight points further ahead and therefore guaranteed to win the group.
• Sevilla's first UEFA encounter against a team from Cyprus brought a 1-0 win at home to APOEL on Matchday 2, Mexican international Javier Hernández scoring the winner after 17 minutes.
• APOEL's record in 19 fixtures against Spanish clubs is now W1 D5 L13. The sole victory came in Nicosia, 2-0 against Athletic Club, and clinched a momentous round of 32 success in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League (after a 2-3 defeat in Bilbao). They have drawn four and lost four of the other eight home games, recording their heaviest European home defeat the last time a Spanish club visited the Cypriot capital as Real Madrid routed them 6-0 in the group stage of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.
• Cypriot champions a record 28 times, APOEL made it seven national titles in a row with last season's triumph, which came at the end of a campaign in which they were absent from Europe in the autumn for the first time in six years having lost their UEFA Europa League play-off against Astana on penalties.
• This season, having comfortably eliminated Montenegro's Sutjeska in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round (1-0 a, 3-0 h), APOEL ensured a return to European group stage football with a 3-2 aggregate success in the next round against future Group A rivals Qarabağ. They were then defeated 2-0 on aggregate by Ajax in the play-offs (0-0 h, 0-2 a) to move into the UEFA Europa League.
• APOEL failed to reach the knockout phase in their first two UEFA Europa League group participations (in 2013/14 and 2015/16) but made it all the way to the round of 16 in 2016/17, having topped their section thanks to a maximum haul of nine points at home before ousting Athletic Club, and have now made it two successive qualifications from the group stage. Their all-time record in Nicosia in UEFA Europa League group games is W6 D1 L4.
• Sevilla played 16 UEFA Europa League matches last season, progressing from the second qualifying round to the round of 16, where they were dramatically eliminated by Slavia Praha after a 4-3 extra-time defeat in the Czech capital. Sevilla had topped Group J with 12 points, scoring 18 goals – the most in the group stage. They have 14 after five games this season, which is second only in the competition to AZ Alkmaar in Group L (15).
• The Andalusian club re-qualified for this competition by finishing sixth in the 2018/19 Liga, which assured them an automatic group stage berth and a fifth appearance at this juncture. They have never failed to go through to the round of 32, this being the third time that they have progressed as group winners.
• Having won in Azerbaijan and Luxembourg this season, scoring eight goals in the process, Sevilla's away record in the UEFA Europa League group stage is now W7 D4 L3, two of those defeats having come last season – at Krasnodar (1-2) and Standard Liège (0-1). In the competition overall, including qualifying, their figures on the road are W19 D7 L9.
Links and trivia
• APOEL's Vujadin Savić and Sevilla's Nemanja Gudelj are former Serbia Under-21 team-mates.
• Sevilla's Portuguese defender Daniel Carriço, who has accumulated a competition-record 61 appearances in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, spent the second half of 2007/08 on loan from Sporting CP at AEL Limassol, helping them avoid relegation from the Cypriot First Division.
• With five goals, including a hat-trick at Dudelange on Matchday 4 – the first in the UEFA Europa League by a Sevilla player – Munir is the joint leading scorer in this season's group stage alongside Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos and Sporting CP’s Bruno Fernandes.
• Sevilla are the only team to have won all of their first five group fixtures in this season's UEFA Europa League.
• Sevilla have scored 120 goals in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, and need four more to equal Villarreal’s competition record. They have also registered 38 wins, the same number as Villarreal; one more will match Salzburg’s record tally.
• Lucas Hadjiloucas was appointed as APOEL's temporary head coach following the dismissal on 9 December of Thomas Doll, who had only been in situ since August. The 52-year-old is a former APOEL midfielder who spent his entire playing career with the club, winning three Cypriot First Division titles and five domestic cups. He also served the Nicosia side as a chief scout before taking up a head coach role at Doxa Katokopias, where he has had two subsequent spells as well as a brief stint in charge of the Cyprus Under-21 side.
• Sevilla appointed Julen Lopetegui as their head coach on a three-year contract in June 2019, the former goalkeeper returning to duty in the Spanish Liga after a brief spell in charge of Real Madrid had swiftly ended in October 2018. A highly successful stint with Spain's youth selections brought European titles with the Under-19s in 2012 and U21s the following year. He had 18 months at Porto before taking charge of the senior Spain side and qualifying them for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, only to be dismissed on the eve of the tournament.