Winless Maccabi Haifa looks to right the ship at home
Haifa drops to defeats in its first two games before managing just a 1-1 draw at Hapoel Beersheba.
Jordi Cruyff, newly signed striker Robert Earnshaw Photo: Maccabi Tel Aviv website
Maccabi Haifa continues its search for its first Premier League win of the
season when it hosts Ashdod SC at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium on
Despite being regarded as one of the main contenders for the
championship at the start of the season, Haifa dropped to defeats in its first
two games before managing just a 1-1 draw at Hapoel Beersheba last
Haifa already finds itself eight points behind fellow title
favorites Hapoel Tel Aviv and Maccabi Tel Aviv, as well as its opponent on
Saturday, with Ashdod currently heading the standings after an impressive start
to the campaign.
Yossi Mizrahi’s men beat Betar Jerusalem 2-1 last week
for their third straight win, but will only face their first true test on
“One point from a possible nine is very poor,” said Haifa coach
“We are not in a position in which we can talk about other
teams and where we would like to finish in the standings.
“Ashdod has got
off to an excellent start, but it hasn’t had to play the opponents we
The signing of Dekel Keinan should help settle Haifa’s vulnerable
defense and he could already figure in Saturday’s lineup.
for this moment for a long time and I’m desperate to play,” said Keinan, who
returns to Kiryat Eliezer after two unsuccessful years in England where he made
little impression at Blackpool, Cardiff City, Crystal Palace and Bristol
“It is no secret that I hoped to stay in Europe for more than two
years, but in the situation that developed it was necessary for me to return to
“Even though I had more lucrative offers, once Reuven told me
that it is vital that I come to Haifa it was an easy decision.”
Haifa, which also signed Avihai Yadin from Hapoel Tel Aviv on Thursday, five
more teams enter Saturday still looking for their first wins.
Jerusalem, with just a single point from a possible nine, hosts Hapoel Acre,
while Beersheba, which has drawn all three of its games so far, visits Maccabi
Rock-bottom Bnei Sakhnin hosts Hapoel Ramat Gan, with both teams
only picking up a single point to date, while Hapoel Haifa, which is also on one
point, visits Bnei Yehuda.
Hapoel Tel Aviv travels to Hapoel Ramat
Hasharon on Sunday, while Maccabi Tel Aviv hosts Ironi Kiryat Shmona on
The yellow-and-blue continued to bolster its squad in the final
day of the Israeli transfer window on Thursday, signing Wales and Cardiff City
striker Robert Earnshaw.
The 31-year-old, who hasn’t played for Cardiff
this season, scored 202 goals in 453 league and cup appearances playing for
Cardiff, Nottingham Forrest, Derby County, Norwich City and West Bromwich
“I am delighted with this latest addition,” said Maccabi’s Sports
Director Jordi Cruyff about Earnshaw, who has represented his country on 58
occasions scoring 16 goals for The Dragons.
“The last day of the transfer
window always gives pleasant surprises and this is one of them. His goal-scoring
record speaks for itself.”