With just three points from its past three matches, Hapoel Tel Aviv desperately needs to breathe new life into its Premier League title challenge when it visits Bnei Yehuda at Bloomfield Stadium on Saturday.

Hapoel still only trails league-leader Maccabi Tel Aviv by a single point, but Yossi Abuksis’s team has only managed to draw against three of the league’s four bottom sides in the past three weeks, dropping a two-goal lead against rock-bottom Hapoel Haifa last Saturday.

The Reds have still conceded the fewest goals of all 14 teams in the league, allowing just 12 in 15 matches, but they have let in two goals in each of their past two games.

Bnei Yehuda dropped to a 1- 0 loss at Hapoel Ramat Gan last week, but it has won three of its past four home matches and always enters its showdowns against its illustrious Tel Aviv rivals with added motivation.

A win will take Hapoel back to the top of the standings for at least 24 hours, with Maccabi Tel Aviv not hosting Hapoel Haifa until Sunday.

Maccabi Haifa will look to extend its eight-match unbeaten streak and make up some more lost ground on the top two when it hosts Hapoel Beersheba at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium on Saturday.

Haifa’s four-game winning streak was snapped with a dreary 0-0 draw at Ironi Kiryat Shmona on Monday, but it is still unbeaten under the guidance of coach Arik Benado and currently finds itself a significant, yet bridgeable, 10 points behind first place.

Haifa has kept a clean-sheet in its past four matches, but has only scored two goals over its last three, an understandable source of concern for Benado.

“Our defensive play has improved and there’s no need to get stressed about our attacking play,” Benado said.

“We will fix whatever needs fixing and we are aiming to get back to winning ways against Beersheba.”

Also kicking off on a busy Saturday, Maccabi Netanya, which is winless over its past seven games, hosts Kiryat Shmona.

Ironi Ramat Hasharon faces Ramat Gan and Hapoel Acre, which has gone a painful nine matches without a victory, visits Bnei Sakhnin.

Betar Jerusalem hosts Ashdod SC on Monday.

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