Maccabi Haifa striker Eliran Atar.
(photo credit: ERAN LUF)
Maccabi Tel Aviv aims to keep pace with Hapoel Beersheba at the top of the Premier League standings when it visits Hapoel Acre on Monday.
Beersheba established a four-point gap in first place with Saturday’s 1-0 win over Maccabi Petah Tikva and the yellow-andblue will be desperate to make it three straight victories over all competitions under new boss Peter Bosz in Acre.
“I think every game until the end of the season will be important,” Bosz said on Sunday. “Beersheba won last night and they will win more games. Acre may play defensively and we will see that more often whether we are playing at home or on the road. We will try to open up the game, move fast and get past their defense.”
Bosz said he was surprised by the general level of play in his first match in charge, last week’s 2-1 win over Maccabi Haifa, and has got a better grasp of his squad’s qualities after playing with rarely used substitutes in the State Cup win over Hapoel Ramat Hasharon.
“I was looking for a chance over the first couple of weeks to see all of the players and I’ve seen them all including the nine players that didn’t play against Haifa as they played this past game against Ramat Hasharon,” he said.
“I’ve got a better idea of who the players are and what they can do. We will need all of the players until the end of the season. We will use all 21 of them that are available as there are plenty more matches to go. The title is not going to be decided after tomorrow.”
Also Monday, Beitar Jerusalem hosts Bnei Sakhnin in another chapter in the hotly-contested rivalry. The match will be played in Petah Tikva after Beitar was punished for its fans’ unruly behavior.
Maccabi Haifa moved up to fifth place in the standings on Sunday, leapfrogging Hapoel Ra’anana after defeating the latter 2-0 at Haifa Stadium.
Yossi Benayoun scored the opener in the 11th minute, missing a penalty but converting the rebound.
Ra’anana’s Adi Nimni was sent off with a straight red card in the 42nd minute for a reckless foul and the Greens clinched all three points after Glynor Plet doubled the advantage in the 62nd minute.