Tabib adds intrigue to Betar-Hap TA showdown

Israeli soccer preview: The ever-heated showdown between Betar Jerusalem and Hapoel Tel Aviv will be even more fiery than usual.

October 29, 2012 03:43
1 minute read.
Betar Jerusalem players after win

Betar Jerusalem players after win_370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

The ever-heated showdown between Betar Jerusalem and Hapoel Tel Aviv will be even more fiery than usual on Monday night due to the presence of Eli Tabib in the Teddy Stadium stands.

Tabib was the owner of Hapoel until the summer, eventually being chased out of town by protesting Tel Aviv fans unhappy with the way he was running the club.

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Despite the bitter experience, Tabib lost nothing of his desire to be involved in Israeli soccer and is currently looking into purchasing Betar from Arkadi Gaydamak.

That of course only gave Hapoel supporters another reason to despise Tabib, who contrary to any common sense decided to attend the match at Teddy and add an unnecessary additional source of friction between two sets of supporters who already staunchly detest each other. On the field, Betar will be looking to build on its first Premier League win of the season, while Hapoel will be hoping to recover from its Europa League setback and move tied on points with leaders Ashdod SC and Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Jerusalem beat Bnei Yehuda 2- 1 on the road last week, but with just five points from its first six matches, is only kept out of the relegation zone thanks to its relatively superior goal difference.

“If we play with the same determination and will as we did against Bnei Yehuda I believe we will put on a good show against Hapoel,” said Betar midfielder Kobi Moyal.

“Hapoel is a very good team, but in this league every team can be beaten.”

Hapoel remained bottom of Europa League Group B with just a single point from three games after suffering a frustrating 2-1 home defeat to Viktoria Plzen on Thursday. However, its 3-0 victory over Maccabi Haifa last week was its fifth in six league matches and the Reds can climb into first place on Monday by beating Betar by three goals or more.

Also Monday, Ironi Kiryat Shmona hosts Hapoel Beersheba.

On TV: Ironi Kiryat Shmona vs Hapoel Beersheba (live on Sport 1 at 6:45 p.m.); Betar Jerusalem vs Hapoel Tel Aviv (live on Channel 1 at 8:50 p.m.)

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