Tamuz 311 .
(photo credit: (Adi Avishai))
The Premier League will return to action after a one-week break on Saturday,
with Israeli soccer still reeling from the death of Avi Cohen on
All of this weekend’s matches will begin with a ceremony in
memory of the former Maccabi Tel Aviv and Liverpool defender, with a minute of
applause to be held ahead of the start of the games and all of the players to
wear black armbands.
Hapoel Tel Aviv can climb to the top of the
standings for at least 48 hours on Saturday when it hosts Hapoel Haifa at
Bloomfield Stadium in its first match of the second round of the
The reigning-champion fell to a stunning 1-0 loss at Haifa in
its season opener, but has since got its title-defense back on track, winning
nine of its last 11 contests, including its last three by a combined goal
difference of 10-1.
The Reds currently trail league-leader Maccabi Haifa
by two points, with Haifa to host third-placed Maccabi Tel Aviv on
The two teams also faced off in the Toto Cup quarterfinals on
Thursday, with Tel Aviv advancing to the semis with a 1-0 extra-time win thanks
to Roberto Colautti’s 94th minute goal.
The yellow-and-blue will face
Maccabi Petah Tikva in the last four, with Ironi Kiryat Shmona to play Bnei
Yehuda in the other semifinal.
Kiryat Shmona has struggled to maintain
its early-season league form in recent weeks, going winless in its last four
Ran Ben-Shimon’s team will have an ideal opportunity to recover
from its poor run of results when it visits the lowly Bnei Sakhnin on
Betar Jerusalem, which beat Kiryat Shmona 1-0 two weeks ago,
will be looking to continue its surge up the table when it hosts Maccabi Netanya
at Teddy Stadium on Saturday.
Jerusalem has won four of its last five
matches, while Netanya has taken all three points from only one of its last
Also Saturday, Hapoel Acre visits Ashdod SC, Hapoel
Beersheba welcomes Maccabi Petah Tikva and Hapoel Ramat Gan hosts Bnei
Hapoel Petah Tikva faces Hapoel Ashkelon on Sunday.Pre