Match Preview: Everton v Apollon Limassol

Overview

  • Everton hope to start from scratch in the Europa League after the infamous Atalanta annihilation.
  • Everton have won their last 2 games in all competitions, which could (hopefully) make the players more confident about playing against the Cypriot minnows.
  • This season’s top scorer Oumar Niasse is ineligible because he wasn’t registered in the Europa League squad.

The Opposition

  • Progressed to the group stage after knocking out Zaria Balti, Aberdeen and Midtjylland.
  • Finished 3rd in the Cypriot First Division last season with 73 points.
  • Won the Cypriot Cup last season, beating APOEL Nicosia 1-0 in the final.
  • Played against English opposition in Europe once before – against Liverpool in 1992/93 European Cup Winners’ Cup, losing 8-2 on aggregate.
  • Reached the group stages of the Europa League twice before but only won 2 games.
  • Currently 8th in the Cypriot First Division with 1 win and 2 draws, but have 2 games in hand.
  • Drew 1-1 in their opening group stage match against the favourites to top the group, Lyon.

Opposition’s Most Recent Match – AEL Limassol 1-1 Apollon Limassol

  • The Limassol derby ended in a draw.
  • Apollon broke a deadlock through Anton Maglica, whom Apollon signed from Everton’s play-off opponents Hajduk Split in 2016.
  • AEL Limassol equalised only three minutes into the second half.
  • The match was fairly even game with AEL having (marginally) the higher number of shots (11-10) but they both had the same number of shots on target (4).
  • Apollon Limassol had more of the ball (56%-44%) but couldn’t take advantage.

Key Stats

  • Everton have never played against Cypriot opposition.
  • Everton have won 10 of their last 13 home games in Europe (3 defeats).
    • Two of those defeats were against Krasnodar and BATE Borisov when Everton fielded a weakened team having already qualified from the group stage.
    • The other defeat was a 2-0 loss to Benfica in November 2009.
  • Everton haven’t lost successive European games since Benfica did the double over them in October-November 2009.
    • Everton haven’t lost successive European games against different opposition since they lost to Feyenoord in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in November 1995 and then Villarreal nearly 9 years later.

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