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Europa League playoffs await Apollon and AEK

Apollon Limassol and AEK Larnaca will both be in Europa League action on Thursday night as both Cypriot sides aim to make a winning start to their first leg playoff encounters against Midtjylland and Viktoria Plzen respectively.

Apollon will host the first leg in Cyprus against the Danish club with coach Sofronis Avgoustis set to be in the stands following his touchline ban earlier in the competition. The Limassol club – who have been playing their European home games at the AEK Arena in Larnaca – will be without the injured Fotis Papoulis, Angelis Angeli and Constantinos Makrides.

Danish visitors Midtjylland had been in Cyprus several seasons ago where they were knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers by APOEL.

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Imanol Idiakez’s AEK are in the Czech Republic for their game against Plzen but are without main striker Florian Taulemesse – who is serving a yellow card suspension.

In the past, AEK had reached the group stages of the Europa League once while Apollon have played twice in the Europa League groups.

On Tuesday, APOEL took a stride towards a place in the group stages of the Champions League for a fourth time after beating Slavia Prague 2-0 in the first leg in Nicosia.

AEK’s game will kickoff at 9.15pm while Apollon’s game is at 8pm.

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