After missing much of the season to date through injuries, Hapoel Beersheba captain Elyaniv Barda is finally fit again and will be aiming to help the team return to winning ways in Premier League action tonight when it hosts Maccabi Haifa..
(photo credit: DANNY MARON)
Despite still holding a comfortable eight-point gap at the top of the Premier League standings, reigning champion Hapoel Beersheba enters Tuesday’s showdown with Maccabi Haifa on the back of its worse run of results in league action since the end of the 2014/15 campaign.
Beersheba hasn’t won a league match in almost a month, losing to Hapoel Ra’anana before registering draws against Hapoel Tel Aviv and Bnei Sakhnin.
While it hasn’t claimed a league win since beating Beitar Jerusalem 3-1 on December 12, Beersheba won the Toto Cup with a 4-1 victory over Ironi Kiryat Shmona two weeks ago and advanced to the State Cup round-of-16 by defeating Maccabi Tzur Shalom of the third division 2-0 last Thursday.
Nevertheless, it is still desperate to get back to winning ways in the league at Turner Stadium on Tuesday, especially as it has not beaten Maccabi Haifa in league play since October 2014.
Beersheba’s winless streak against the Greens reached eight league matches earlier this season when Haifa claimed a 2-1 victory at home.
Haifa would love to trade its troubles with those of Beersheba, winning just one of its past six league matches and being knocked out in the State Cup round-of-32 on Saturday following a 2-0 loss to Maccabi Petah Tikva.
Haifa is still only three points back of Maccabi Tel Aviv in second place, with the yellow-and-blue facing Hapoel Ra’anana on Wednesday.
Tel Aviv could find itself in third place by the time it plays, with Maccabi Petah Tikva entering Tuesday’s match against Bnei Sakhnin tied on points with the yellow-and-blue.
Also Tuesday, Beitar Jerusalem visits Hapoel Ashkelon.
Elsewhere Wednesday, Hapoel Haifa hosts Ashdod SC and Hapoel Kfar Saba goes to Bnei Yehuda. Hapoel Tel Aviv visits Kiryat Shmona on Thursday.
The draw for the State Cup round-of-16 was held on Monday. Beitar Jerusalem hosts Bnei Sakhnin in the most intriguing tie of the round.
In other all-Premier League ties: Hapoel Beersheba vs Ironi Kiryat Shmona; Hapoel Tel Aviv vs Maccabi Petah Tikva; Hapoel Ra’anana vs Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Ashkelon vs Bnei Yehuda.
The ties will be played in two weeks.
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