Despite snapping its two-game losing streak by claiming a memorable 4- 3 victory
over Hapoel Ramat Hasharon last week, Maccabi Tel Aviv still lost its hold on
first place in the Premier League standings.
Hapoel Tel Aviv’s 4-1 win
over Hapoel Beersheba took it above the yellow-and-blue on goal difference, with
both teams on 24 points after 11 matches.
Hapoel doesn’t play until
Monday when it visits third-placed Ashdod SC, giving Maccabi an ideal
opportunity to mount pressure on the Reds with a win over Bnei Sakhnin at
Bloomfield Stadium on Saturday.
After failing to find the back of the net
in two consecutive defeats, Maccabi scored four goals in one match for just the
second time this season and it will require clinical finishing yet again against
Sakhnin picked up just a single point from its first five
matches of the campaign, but it is unbeaten in its last six, conceding just a
sole goal in its past four contests.
“I’ve received a warm welcome at
Maccabi,” said Tel Aviv midfielder Maharan Radi, who joined the yellowand- blue
from Sakhnin in the summer and has become a fixture in its lineup, starting in
all 11 league matches.
“Joining Maccabi is just the beginning for me. Now
I need to peak with the team.”
Maccabi announced on Thursday that
assistant coach Gerard Autet has left the club. Oscar Garcia’s assistant flew
back to Spain last week due to the deterioration in the security situation in
Israel following Operation Pillar of Defense and he has decided not to
Also Saturday, Maccabi Netanya hosts Betar Jerusalem, which will
be boosted by Thursday’s news from the Israel Football Association’s
The court handed Betar a NIS 70,000 fine and punished
the team to host its next two matches away from Teddy Stadium after a lighter
thrown from the Teddy stands during Monday’s 2-1 defeat to Maccabi Haifa hit
linesman Amihai Moses and delayed the match for several minutes.
which could have faced the activation of a suspended sentence of hosting two
matches in front of empty stands, was relieved by the ruling as it means it will
still enjoy a much-needed big pay-day from the upcoming showdown with Maccabi
Elsewhere Saturday, Beersheba hosts Bnei Yehuda, Ramat Hasharon
visits Ironi Kiryat Shmona and Hapoel Acre welcomes Hapoel Ramat Gan and its new
coach Eli Cohen, who replaced Freddy David on Wednesday.
hosts Maccabi Haifa in the derby at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium on Sunday.