Eintracht Frankfurt are within sight of the knockout rounds already as they plot another defeat of Apollon.
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With a maximum nine Group H points already following their 2-0 home win against Apollon Limassol on matchday three, Eintracht Frankfurt are on the cusp of a place in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase as they take on their Cypriot opponents in the rematch.
• Eintracht's first European campaign since 2013/14 has got off to a perfect start, a 2-1 win away to last season's beaten finalists Marseille preceding a 4-1 home success against UEFA Europa League regulars Lazio before they made it three wins out of three against Apollon last time out through first-half goals from Filip Kostić and Sébastien Haller. A fourth successive win will secure their qualification, as will a draw should Marseille fail to win at Lazio.
• Apollon, meanwhile, have prolonged their winless streak in the competition proper to a competition-record 14 successive matches, losing 2-1 at Lazio then salvaging a 2-2 home draw against Marseille with a last-minute equaliser before the defeat in Germany. If they make it 15 in a row without a win and Lazio beat Marseille, the Cypriot side will be eliminated.
• The clubs had not met in UEFA competition prior to matchday three.
• Eintracht also won both of their previous matches against Cypriot opposition without conceding, prevailing 3-0 at APOEL in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage at the GSP Stadium on their only previous visit to the Mediterranean island.
• Apollon have now lost all four of their games against German clubs without scoring. Their two previous fixtures at home to Bundesliga clubs both ended 0-2, most recently against Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Domestic runners-up in league and cup last term, Apollon's sixth successive season in the UEFA Europa League kicked off in the first qualifying round, where they got the better of Lithuania's Stumbras before ousting Željezničar of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dinamo Brest of Belarus and, on away goals in the play-offs, Basel.
• Apollon have been in three previous UEFA Europa League group campaigns – a fourth is a record for a Cypriot club – but have never progressed beyond this stage, finishing third in their section in 2013/14 and fourth in both 2014/15 and 2017/18. Their record in the group stage is W2 D5 L14 with no wins in the last 14 – a record sequence in the competition proper.
• The Limassol club had won all four home games in this European campaign, scoring ten goals and conceding just one, prior to the matchday two draw against Marseille. Indeed, they have been beaten just once in their last 15 UEFA encounters on the island (W9 D5) – 3-0 by Everton in last season’s final group game.
• A dramatic 2017/18 German Cup final victory over Bundesliga champions Bayern München – 3-1 in Berlin – not only gave Eintracht their first major silverware in 30 years but also secured their first European campaign in five.
• Eintracht's only European participation in the past dozen seasons came in 2013/14, when they successfully negotiated the UEFA Europa League play-offs and group stage, topping their section with 15 points, before going out on away goals to Porto in the round of 32.
• The 1980 UEFA Cup winners won three of their five away fixtures in that 2013/14 campaign and have lost just one of their last nine European games on the road (W4 D4). Their overall record in the UEFA Europa League, qualifying included, is W10 D2 L1, the sole defeat coming at Maccabi Tel-Aviv (2-4) on matchday four five years ago almost to the day.
Links and trivia
• From July 2014 until January 2015, Apollon's Maltese international forward André Schembri played for FSV Frankfurt, Eintracht's local rivals.
• Brazilian midfielder Allan is on a season-long loan at Eintracht from Liverpool, having had a similar spell with Apollon in 2017/18.
• Apollon are one of four clubs who reached this season's UEFA Europa League group stage after starting their campaign in the first qualifying round; the others are FC København, Rangers and Sarpsborg.
• Fotis Papoulis is one goal away from becoming Apollon's joint top scorer in Europe alongside Milenko Špoljarić (11).
• Eintracht are one of six clubs with maximum points from the opening three UEFA Europa League fixtures, the others being FC Zürich (Group A), Salzburg (B), Dinamo Zagreb (D), Arsenal (E) and Chelsea (L).
• Sofronis Avgousti has coached home-town team Apollon since December 2016, when, as caretaker, he led the club to victory in each of his first eight league matches and to a successful defence of the Cypriot Cup. He has since steered them into back-to-back UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns. Capped 11 times by Cyprus, he previously served the Limassol club in three separate spells as a goalkeeper and was also on the books of AEK Larnaca, Aris Limassol and APOEL.
• Austrian coach Adi Hütter was appointed by Eintracht Frankfurt as the successor to Bayern München-bound Niko Kovač in May 2018, having just led Young Boys to their first Swiss league title in 32 years. A midfielder who spent seven years with Salzburg, he returned to lead the club to a domestic double in 2014/15 after managerial spells at Altach and Grödig. He then crossed the border to spend the next three seasons in Berne.