Maccabi Tel Aviv will be hoping to exorcise the ghosts of recent seasons when it
visits Hapoel Acre in Premier League action on Saturday night.
was outplayed at Acre in each of the past two campaigns. The yellow-and-blue
lost the fixture 3-0 last season, with coach Moti Ivanir being sacked two weeks
later. Acre also beat Tel Aviv 3-1 in November 2010, with manager Avi Nimni
being sent packing less than two months afterwards.
With Maccabi picking
up 15 of a possible 18 points from its first six matches, there is absolutely no
chance current coach Oscar Garcia will be fired any time soon, regardless of
The Spaniard is actually hoping the setbacks of recent
seasons will fuel his players for the showdown with Acre.
“We will use
these defeats to motivate our players.” Oscar said on Thursday.
players are aware of the team’s results in Acre in the last couple of
Despite completely overhauling the squad in the summer and
replacing successful coach Eli Cohen with the inexperienced Shimon Hadari, Acre
currently finds itself in fourth position, four points behind Maccabi, after
winning three of its last four matches and drawing the other against Maccabi
“I have no doubt that we are facing the league’s next champion,
but champions also lose and I hope they drop points against us,” said
“I said at the start of the season that Acre will be built on
teamwork and not on stars and I knew why I was predicting that we have a good
enough squad to reach the top six playoffs.”
Maccabi Tel Aviv is
currently only kept off the top of the table by Ashdod SC’s superior goal
Maccabi beat Yossi Mizrahi’s team 2-1 two weeks ago and
Ashdod will be looking to rebound from that defeat when it hosts champion Ironi
Kiryat Shmona on Saturday.
Ashdod lost its perfect record with the loss
to Tel Aviv and will face a real test of character against Kiryat Shmona, which
is also desperate for a win after picking up just one point from its last three
Also Saturday, Hapoel Haifa hosts Hapoel Beersheba, Maccabi
Netanya visits Hapoel Ramat Gan and Hapoel Ramat Hasharon faces rock-bottom Bnei
Bnei Yehuda hosts Betar Jerusalem at Bloomfield Stadium on
Sunday, while Hapoel Tel Aviv welcomes Maccabi Haifa to the same stadium the