Red-hot Mac Haifa hosts Netanya; Hap Haifa visits Betar

Red-hot Mac Haifa hosts

October 30, 2009 00:47
1 minute read.

Maccabi Netanya will be the next team to try and stop the rampant Maccabi Haifa when it visits Kiryat Eliezer Stadium on Saturday evening. While Haifa has won all seven of its Premier League matches to date, defeating Betar Jerusalem 2-1 last week in impressive fashion, Netanya has struggled so far this season, winning just once. Reuven Atar replaced Nati Azariya as coach last month and the team has improved with every match, beating Maccabi Petah Tikva 3-0 two weeks ago before drawing 2-2 with Hapoel Beersheba. Atar might also draw some encouragement from the fact that Elisha Levy's only home defeat since taking charge of Haifa last season came against Netanya. The 3-2 loss to Lothar Matthaus's side last November was the only time that Levy left Kiryat Eliezer empty handed in 28 matches in all competitions. Atar, a Haifa playing legend, also has fond memories of Kiryat Eliezer as a coach from when he guided Netanya to a 2-0 win at Haifa two seasons ago. "Maccabi Haifa is an excellent team, which is playing the best soccer in the league," Netanya midfielder Shalev Menashe said. "They are superior to us in every facet of the game, but in our situation we can not afford to leave without points. "Maybe the fact that Atar has known Haifa for so many years will help us be the first team to take points from them." In other local weekend action, Betar Jerusalem hosts Hapoel Haifa on Saturday, looking to rebound from its disappointing display against Maccabi Haifa. Jerusalem finds itself 10 points behind the greens after just seven matches and is desperate to claim all three points at Teddy Stadium. "We made me a lot of mistakes last week and we will try to correct them against Hapoel Haifa," Betar midfielder Idan Tal said. "The season is not over yet, but in our current situation it would not be serious to talk about winning the championship." Hapoel Haifa won four of its first five matches of the campaign, but has lost its last two encounters. Also Saturday, Bnei Yehuda visits Hapoel Acre, Hapoel Ra'anana hosts Hapoel Petah Tikva, Bnei Sakhnin travels to Hapoel Ramat Gan and Maccabi Petah Tikva welcomes Ahi Nazareth. On Sunday, Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts arch-rival Maccabi Tel Aviv in the derby. Ashdod SC visits Hapoel Beersheba on Monday.

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