AEK Larnaca – Rennes facts and stats | UEFA Europa League
Rennes travel to European competition for the first time in Cyprus to face AEK Larnaca in the opening match of Group B of the UEFA Europa League.
While Rennes have never met a Cypriot opponent, AEK have only met one French team: Bordeaux, in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, where they were beaten 3 -0 away and 1-0 at home.
About the teams
Absent from European games in 2020/21 and 2021/22, AEK signs its return there after finishing last season in the place of runners-up in the Cypriot first division, four points behind Apollon Limassol.
AEK have never won the national title, finishing runners-up five times.
AEK returned to continental competition in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, under new coach José Luis Oltra, but were eliminated 4-3 on penalties by Midtjylland (1-1, 1 -1).
The Cypriots, eliminated in the Champions League, recovered to win two qualifying rounds for the Europa League against Partizan (2-1, 2-2) and Dnipro-1 (2-1, 3-0) and reach the group stage for the third time, after 2011/12 and 2018/19.
In each of those two previous appearances, the Larnaca players have won only one of their six matches and failed to qualify.
The Larnaca-based club are unbeaten in Cyprus in six European matches (4 wins), since losing 1-5 to Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 6 of 2018/19. In 16 European home games, it was the first time AEK conceded more than one goal.
AEK record at home in the UEFA Europa League group stage: 1 win and 2 draws.
Rennes secured a club-record fifth consecutive season in Europe by finishing fourth in Ligue 1 last season, 20 points behind crowned champions Paris Saint-Germain.
Bruno Génésio’s team also played ten matches in the UEFA Europa Conference League, from the qualifying play-offs to the round of 16, where they were eliminated by Leicester City (0-2, 2-1).
Rennes have featured in the UEFA Europa League group stage in three previous seasons, failing in 2011/12 and 2019/20 but reaching the round of 16 in 2018/19, where they lost to at Arsenal (3-1, 0-3).
The Britons finished bottom of their UEFA Champions League group in 2020/21.
The setback at Leicester was Rennes’ only defeat in the UEFA Europa Conference League last season. The Britons have won all their other away matches, including a 3-0 on green against Tottenham in their last group game.
In the Europa League, Stade Rennais have lost eight of their nine away group matches, the exception being a 1-0 victory at Jablonec on matchday five in 2018/19.
We know each other
AEK French midfielder Imad Faraj and Rennais Martin Terrier both come from the LOSC Lille academy and played together in the club’s B team.
Faraj made seven Ligue 1 appearances for the club in 2017/18, while Terrier was on loan at Strasbourg.
AEK’s 11 goals in this summer’s qualifying phase have come from ten different players, with only Hungarian international Ádám Gyurcsó scoring twice.
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