Maccabi Haifa will begin its Premier League title defense at Maccabi Netanya on
the weekend of August 20, it was revealed on Tuesday when the draw for the
upcoming season was held at Israel Football Association headquarters in Ramat
The first meeting between two of the league’s big four will take
place in the third weekend of the season when Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Betar
Other highlights in the first half of the season include:
Haifa visiting Maccabi Tel Aviv in Week 7, Tel Aviv hosting Betar four weeks
later and the first Tel Aviv derby in Week 13.
The first meeting between
Maccabi Haifa and last season’s runner-up Hapoel Tel Aviv will take place on
For the second time in three seasons, the Premier League will
have a new format, with the IFA dropping the controversial point-halving format
after two seasons, while also deciding to cut the league from 16 to 14 teams for
the 2012/13 campaign.
Three teams will be relegated this season, with the
IFA also eliminating the mid-table playoff, meaning that following two rounds of
play the league will be split into two, with the top eight teams playing each
other one more time in the battle for the championship and the bottom eight
sides facing each other once more in the fight against relegation.