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UEFA Champions League

  • 7 March 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Neo GSP, Nicosía (Levkosía)
  • Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
  • • Attendance: 18500

Aggregate 1 - 1, APOEL win 4 - 3 on penalties

APOEL - Olympique Lyonnais Preview: Cypriot minnows aiming for unlikely qualification against stuttering French giants

APOEL - Olympique Lyonnais Preview: Cypriot minnows aiming for unlikely qualification against stuttering French giants


Ivan Jovanovic's men are bidding to overturn a slender 1-0 deficit from the first leg and secure a susprise qualification against an OL side on a pitiful run of form



 Poursaiditidis, Paulo Jorge, Kaka, Oliveira
 Morais, H Sousa
 Charalambidis, Tricovski, Manduca

Reveilliere, Kone, Cris, Cissokho
Briand, Gonalons, Kallstrom, Bastos
Lisandro Lopez, Gomis

APOEL coach Ivan Jovanovic has few injury concerns ahead of their make-or-break Champions League tie against Lyon. Marcelo Oliveira and Aldo Adorno both sat out the first leg, but are in line for a return after appearing in the 4-1 win over league strugglers Ermis at the weekend.

Ivan Trickovsi looks set to be reinstated after being rested at the weekend, with the Macedonian attacker having shaken off a leg injury. However, APOEL will be without Helio Pinto, who is suspended for the clash at GSP.

Olympique Lyonnais have Yoann Gourcuff ruled out after he picked up an adductor injury. The France international's latest setback prolongs his spell on the sidelines, having last turned out in the 3-1 cup win over Bordeaux last month. However, les Gones are boosted by the return of Dejan Lovren after recovering from an Achilles injury.

Bafetimbi Gomis, Cris and Kim Kallstrom will incur a suspension if booked on Wednesday evening. Likewise, Nektarios Alexandrou, Marcelo Oliveira, Trickovsi, Marcinho and Paulo Jorge are all also one booking away from a suspension.

  • Of the last 13 Champions League games, APOEL have only won two and both of these have come at home this season, against FC Porto and Zenit St Petersburg.
  • Nuno Morais, formerly of Chelsea, has played every single minute of the Cypriots' Champions League campaign. 
  • Ivan Jovanovic's men are bidding to be Cyprus' first Champions League quarter-finalists, in which the island nation could also become the 16th European counry to achieve the feat.
  • APOEL's last encounter against French opposition on Cypriot soil ended in a 1-0 defeat to PSG in September 1993.
  • Olympique Lyonnais are in the round of 16 for the ninth successive season, only Real Madrid have achieved more (consecutive streak of 15).
  • Les Gones have a 100 per cent record of qualifying when winning the first leg 1-0 at home, most recently against Real Madrid at this stage in 2009-10.
  • Remi Garde's men are aiming to qualify for the last eight for only the second time since 2005-06, and the first since they achieved their best result as semi-finalists two years ago.
  • Since the first leg on February 14, Lyon are yet to win in their domestic league, having claimed victory in only one of their last eight Ligue 1 games.
  • Les Gones have fallen behind in seven of their last eight games, something noteworthy to Ivan Jovanovic's men if they are secure an unlikely qualification.
Mweene; Nkausu, Sunzu, Himoonde, Musonda; Chansa, Lungu, Sinkala, Kalaba; C. Katongo (c), Mayuka

Players to watch

Paulo Jorge

Position: Defender

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The 31-year-old defender was arguably the man of the match in the first leg at Stade Gerland, and had it not been for the centre-back's timely interceptions, Wednesday's encounter would surely be a dead rubber. Paulo Jorge has enhanced his reputation in this season's run to the last 16, and will surely need to replicate the form he showed in France three weeks ago if APOEL are to shock Lyon.

H. Lloris

Position: Goalkeeper

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The newly named France captain has displayed his world-class credentials with top saves for both club and country in recent weeks. With Porto and Zenit falling in Nicosia, the 25 year old will have to be at the top of his game to thwart the attack-minded hosts who will be throwing everything at the goalkeeper to restore parity. Lloris, blessed with impressive reflexes and handling ability could prove to be APOEL's downfall.

Editor's Prediction

The tie is still firmly in the balance, but judging on the one-sided nature of the first leg, in which APOEL only registered just one shot on target, the consensus is that this fairytale will come to a premature end on Wednesday evening,

However, given Lyon's recent form, culminating in a 2-0 defeat to Nancy at the weekend, all is not over for Ivan Jovanovic's men. A highly-entertaining clash is a given, though Lyon's experience should see them sneak through.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head


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