30 August 2019
A 3-0 defeat in the Netherlands has left Apollon Limassol with a little to hope for ahead of their return leg against PSV Eindhoven in their UEFA Europa League (EL) play-offs tie.
After a routine 6-0 aggregate triumph over Kauno Zalgiris in the first qualifying round, the hosts went on to edge past Shamrock Rovers in the second round 4-3 on aggregate (1-2 A, 3-1 H) in a tense two-legged clash that has seen them reach the third round after an extra-time victory. Theos have managed to set up this tie thanks to a 5-2 aggregate win over Austria Wien (2-1 A, 3-1 H). They will now try to overcome a huge deficit from the first leg and successfully negotiate the EL playoffs for the third year in a row. Interestingly, the Blue-Whites have lost just one of their last ten European matches at home (W8, D1, L1), with six of those triumphs seeing them score two or more goals.
Meanwhile, the visitors have been edged out by Basel in the Champions League second qualifying round on away goal rule (3-2 H, 1-2 A) before joining the EL third qualifying round where they came off better in a two-legged battle with the Norwegian outfit Haugesund 1-0 on aggregate (1-0 A, 0-0 H). The Dutch giants have prevailed in all five of their last EL playoff appearances, securing four away triumphs across those ties (W4, D1). However, the Farmers have endured mixed fortunes in their last seven European trips (W2, D1, L4), with four of those matches featuring over 2.5 goals.
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