Hapoel Tel Aviv will go for its sixth straight Premier League victory when it hosts Hapoel Haifa at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday, hoping to make positive headlines once more after a tumultuous 48 hours.
Coach Eli Gutman and club chairman Amir Lubin met with midfielder Shay Abutbul and defender Omri Canada before training on Sunday after it was revealed that the two clashed during the team's trip to Scotland last week for the Europa League game against Celtic.
Abutbul had suspected that Canada, with whom his was sharing a room in Glasgow, had taken 450 euros from his wallet, and according to some reports the two exchanged blows after the midfielder confronted the defender.
The two are not expected to start in Monday's game against Haifa, which has not won in more than two months.
Haifa won four of its first five league matches to start the season, but subsequently lost five consecutive encounters before drawing 1-1 with Hapoel Ramat Gan last week.
"I told my players that we can surprise Tel Aviv," Haifa coach Shlomi Dora said. "Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa are playing the best soccer in the country, but I think we can beat them."
On Sunday, Ashdod SC claimed its third straight win, 2-1 over Ahi Nazareth, returning to fifth place in the standings thanks to Moshe Ohayon's stoppage time goal.
Yaniv Luzon gave rock-bottom Nazareth the lead in the 34th minute, but Idan Sade equalized for the hosts just four minutes later.
The match seemed to be heading to a draw until Ohayon scored four minutes into injury time to give Ashdod all three points and send Nazareth to its sixth straight loss.