Beersheba coach Barak Bachar.
(photo credit: DANNY MAROM)
Hapoel Beersheba looks to ensure it enters next weekend’s showdown with Beitar Jerusalem with at least a fourpoint gap at the top of the Premier League standings by beating Bnei Yehuda on the road on Saturday.
Beersheba is coming off its biggest victory of the campaign after overcoming Maccabi Netanya 5-1 on Sunday. The two-time defending champion, which is aiming to become just the third team in the past 55 years to win three league titles in a row, is looking to yet again put Beitar under pressure, with Jerusalem not visiting Netanya until Monday.
“We registered a very important victory over Netanya, but that is history now,” said Beersheba coach Barak Bachar. “We will have to be as ready and aggressive as we were against Netanya in order to beat Bnei Yehuda.”
Bachar said the team’s four-point margin over Beitar with five matches to play is not as significant as some people are making it out to be.
“I can’t control what other people are saying. Our gap isn’t that big and we know every game is important and that the title race is wide open,” he explained.
“We know there is still a long way to go.”
Bnei Yehuda has little to play far, sitting in sixth place in the standings, eight points behind Maccabi Netanya in fifth.
Meanwhile, rock-bottom Hapoel Acre seemed destined to be relegated long ago, but it can keep its hopes of survival alive for at least 24 more hours with a win over Maccabi Petah Tikva on Saturday.
Acre is eight points from safety with three matches remaining and nine points to play for. Ashkelon, which is also in the relegation zone, four points from Ashdod SC and survival, visits Ashdod on Sunday. A win for Ashdod, which will be guided by Yossi Mizrahi following the sacking of coach Amir Turgeman, will officially secure it another season in the top flight and relegate both Ashkelon and Acre.