Betar Jerusalem will have retribution on its mind when it faces Hapoel Tel Aviv at Bloomfield Stadium on Monday night.
Hapoel thrashed Betar 4-0 last February, handing the club one of its most humiliating defeats in recent seasons.
Tel Aviv has only seemingly grown stronger since, impressing both locally and in Europe. Betar, on the other hand, has struggled this season, winning just one of its four meetings so far against the league's top four teams, losing last week 4-3 to Maccabi Tel Aviv at Bloomfield.
"We will never forget last season's defeat, but we are aiming to win this match regardless of that result and we don't want to use words like revenge," Betar captain Aviram Bruchian said on Sunday.
"I think Hapoel is the favorite. However, I feel that we can beat any team."
Tel Aviv had its eight-match league win streak snapped by Hapoel Acre last week and finds itself trailing Maccabi Haifa by 11 points entering Monday's encounter.
Eli Gutman's team will also be without two key players on Monday, with star goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama currently training in Nigeria ahead of the start of the Africa Cup of Nations, and defender Walid Badier suspended after being sent off in the match against Acre.
Mac PT rises from relegation
On Sunday, Maccabi Petah Tikva claimed its first win since October, defeating Hapoel Ramat Gan 3-0 at Winter Stadium.
Omer Damari gave the visitors the lead in the 38th minute with a solo effort and Kobi Ganon doubled Petah Tikva's advantage seven minutes into the second half.
In the 73rd minute, Damari scored his second of the night to clinch the victory, Petah Tikva's first in eight matches.
The three points take Petah Tikva out of the relegation zone, while Ramat Gan remains in 11th place following its third straight loss.
"It took time, but we finally won," said Petah Tikva coach Freddy David, who triumphed for the first time since replacing Roni Levy as coach in late November.
"I hope we build on this win and continue to improve. Maccabi Petah Tikva should not be in its current position."
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