Bnei Yehuda's Eran Zahavi.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Bnei Yehuda will aim to bridge the massive gulf between the top and the bottom
of the Premier League standings on Saturday night when it hosts Maccabi Tel Aviv
at Bloomfield Stadium.
Bnei Yehuda remained rooted to last place last
Saturday, losing 1-0 at Ashdod SC following David Solari’s winner one minute
The club from south Tel Aviv has lost five straight matches
and 11 of its past 13 contests, scoring just a single goal in its last four
After three weeks under the guidance of interim coach Ya’akov
Asayag, Bnei Yehuda finally signed a full-time replacement for Dror Kashtan this
week, bringing back Yossi Abuksis.
Abuksis, who is also the assistant
coach of the Israel national team, led Bnei Yehuda to a third-place finish in
the 2011/12 season before leaving to coach Hapoel Tel Aviv.
guided a club side since he was sacked by Hapoel in February after a poor run of
“I believe we can avoid relegation,” said Abuksis. “It all
depends on how we strengthen the squad in the January transfer window. I’m not
fooling myself and I know it will be very difficult, but I believe we can do
Maccabi holds a four-point gap at the top, thrashing Hapoel Acre 5-0
last week for its fifth straight win and 11th in 14 matches so far this
“A team is always more motivated when a new coach comes in,”
warned Maccabi coach Paulo Sousa.
A win for the defending champion will
see it increase its margin over second-placed Hapoel Beersheba to seven points
for at least 48 hours, with Beersheba to visit Hapoel Tel Aviv on
Elsewhere Saturday, Maccabi Haifa, which has picked up just a
single point from its past two games, hosts Ashdod SC, Bnei Sakhnin visits
Hapoel Acre, Hapoel Ramat Hasharon welcomes Ironi Kiryat Shmona and Hapoel
Ra’anana faces Hapoel Haifa.
Beitar Jerusalem hosts Maccabi Petah Tikva