Maccabi Haifa 311.
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
Hapoel Tel Aviv may have made the most significant signings of the January
transfer window, but Maccabi Haifa coach Elisha Levy is still confident his team
will go on to claim the Premier League championship.
Hapoel spent 1.4
million euros to bring in Elroei Cohen from Ironi Kiryat Shmona and Slovakian
international defender Mario Pecalka, as well as adding Israeli midfielder Shay
Revivo on a free transfer.
The Reds remain the favorite to defend its
title, having lost just once in its last 17 matches, winning 13 of
However, Levy believes that even though Haifa didn’t spend heavily,
its squad is good enough to end the season in first position and promised that
the club will continue to stand by its policy of promoting players from the
“We made a big effort to sign a striker in the transfer
window, but we couldn’t find one who would upgrade us,” Levy said. “Haifa has a
club policy to build itself on players from the youth department and we are in
first position because we have remained true to our values.”
open a five-point margin over Hapoel Tel Aviv at the top of the league standings
on Saturday when it visits Ashdod SC, with Hapoel not hosting Maccabi Petah
Tikva until Monday.
The Greens struggled to a 1- 0 victory over Bnei
Sakhnin last week, but despite failing to hit top form, Levy’s men are unbeaten
in their last 12 matches, having lost just once so far this
Ashdod is in danger of dropping into the relegation playoffs
after losing its last three matches by a combined 2-12 goal
Maccabi Tel Aviv is just six points back of Haifa, even
though it saw its four-game winning streak cut short by a 1-1 draw against
Hapoel Tel Aviv on Sunday.
However, the yellow-andblue will expect a
quick return to winning ways on Saturday when it visits rock-bottom Hapoel Ramat
Gan, which hasn’t scored a goal in its past five matches.
an 88th minute penalty by Aviram Bruchian to draw 1-1 with Bnei Yehuda and
maintain Roni Levy’s unbeaten run at the club, Betar Jerusalem visits Bnei
Sakhnin on Saturday.
“We would like to climb up the standings, but our
situation means that we still have to keep an eye on the teams at the bottom of
the table,” Bruchian said. “We need to string together a long winning streak to
get into the top-six playoff, starting from this week.”
Hapoel Haifa hosts Maccabi Netanya, Hapoel Beersheba visits Hapoel Petah Tikva
and Bnei Yehuda welcomes Hapoel Acre.
Hapoel Ashkelon hosts Ironi Kiryat
Shmona on Sunday.