Maccabi Tel Aviv hopes to make a move

Maccabi has won just two of its past eight league matches, but can close within six points of leader Hapoel Beersheba for at least 24 hours with a victory over the struggling Ashdod.

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December 23, 2016 00:31
1 minute read.
Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Shota Arveladze is hoping his team can return to winning ways against Ashdod

Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Shota Arveladze is hoping his team can return to winning ways against Ashdod SC on Saturday before turning its focus to the January transfer window. (photo credit: ERAN LUF)

 
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The start of the January transfer window couldn’t come soon enough for Maccabi Tel Aviv and coach Shota Arveladze. But until the yellow-andblue can actually sign new players it has one more Premier League match to play, against Ashdod SC in Netanya on Saturday.

Maccabi has won just two of its past eight league matches, but can close within six points of leader Hapoel Beersheba for at least 24 hours with a victory over the struggling Ashdod.

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Reigning champion Beersheba’s ninematch winning streak was snapped with a 1-0 defeat at Hapoel Ra’anana last weekend, but Maccabi failed to take full advantage, only managing a 1-1 draw against Hapoel Kfar Saba to cut the deficit to nine points. Beersheba hosts Hapoel Tel Aviv on Sunday.

Maccabi sports director Jordi Cruyff and coach Arveladze are desperate to make changes to the squad, with several players expected to come and go throughout January.

The likes of Barak Itzhaki and Eden Ben-Basat could be on their way out, while Hapoel Tel Aviv striker Aaron Schoenfeld is one name being linked with a move to the team.

In the meantime, Arveladze is hoping his side can regain its early season form against Ashdod, which is just two points above the relegation zone but has lost only one of its last nine matches, and that was at Beersheba.

“Ashdod is a team that wants to play and they are a club that passes the ball, although they may change a bit when they play away,” said Arveladze, whose job seems safe for the time being. “They love to play football and have some good young players, but it’s up to us. I’d really like to see my Maccabi from the first two months.”

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Beitar Jerusalem goes in search of an elusive win when it visits Ironi Kiryat Shmona on Saturday. Beitar has won just four of 14 matches so far this season, drawing half of its games, including against Maccabi Petah Tikva last weekend.

Beitar is tied with fifth-place Kiryat Shmona on 19 points, with the latter unbeaten in four matches.

Also Saturday, Bnei Yehuda hosts Hapoel Haifa and Hapoel Kfar Saba visits Hapoel Ashkelon.

Elsewhere Sunday, Petah Tikva welcomes Ra’anana, with Maccabi Haifa hosting Bnei Sakhnin on Monday.

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