Apoel - FC Schalke 04 have an awkward away fixture against reigning Cypriot champions APOEL FC as they launch their 2015/16 UEFA Europa League campaign in Group K on Thursday (kick-off 21:05 CEST).

For Royal Blues boss Andre Breitenreiter it will be a first taste of European football as head coach as he enters a busy period in which his side play five games in 15 days.

Top facts

  • The only time the teams have previously met was in the first round of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup campaign. Schalke won 5-2 on aggregate.
  • Schalke are unbeaten in matches against Cypriot sides, winning two and drawing two. They have scored nine goals in their two games played on the island so far.
  • APOEL have only ever beaten a team from Germany once in 14 attempts.
  • The Royal Blues will be eager to recall their last away match in Europe: a 4-3 victory against Real Madrid in the Champions League last season.
  • APOEL did the domestic league and cup double in Cyprus last season. They have won the Cypriot championship 24 times, and the cup on 21 occasions.

Team News

Possible line-ups:

APOEL: Waterman - Carlao, De Vincenti, Leal, Makridis - Antoniades, Stilic, Inaki Astiz, Nuno Morais - Mario Sergio, Vande

Schalke: Fährmann – Caicara, Matip, Neustädter, Aogo – Geis, Goretzka, Meyer – Choupo-Moting, Huntelaar, Di Santo