Hap TA faces early-season challenge in Beersheba

With the Premier League season just one week old, Hapoel Tel Aviv already finds itself under pressure ahead of Saturday’s match at Hapoel Beersheba.

By
August 29, 2013 23:34
1 minute read.
Hapoel Tel Aviv vs PFC Beroe .

Hapoel Tel Aviv vs PFC Beroe 370. (photo credit: Reuters and Maccabi Haifa website)

With the Premier League season just one week old, Hapoel Tel Aviv already finds itself under pressure ahead of Saturday’s match at Hapoel Beersheba.

After four straight seasons in the group stages of European competitions, Tel Aviv was knocked out by Pandurii of Romania in the Europa League third qualifying round earlier this month before opening its league campaign with a disappointing 0-0 draw against Bnei Sakhnin at Bloomfield Stadium.

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Expectations were sky high from Hapoel after coach Ran Ben-Shimon was brought aboard and completely rebuilt the side this summer.

However, Red fans have quickly discovered that their team will at the very least require more time to gel following a poor start to the season.

A trip to Vasermil Stadium is a tough task for any team at the best of times, not to mention for Hapoel in its current state and considering Beersheba’s bright start to the season.

The southerners beat Beitar Jerusalem 2-0 last week, but can make a real statement on Saturday with a first win in nine years over Hapoel.

“We are very confident, but we know that we will have to play better than we did against Beitar,” said midfielder Maor Buzaglo, one of Beersheba’s star signings this summer, with the likes of Elyaniv Barda and Gal Erel also joining the club.



“We claimed an important win to start the season but the key to success is continuity.”

Beitar’s under-manned squad struggled for much of last week’s defeat to Beersheba and even Saturday’s visit to newly-promoted Maccabi Petah Tikva is looking like a daunting prospect with the club failing to make any significant signings over the past week.

Striker Teteh Bangura is expected to make his debut on Saturday, but Beitar still finds itself in serious trouble ahead of the showdown with Petah Tikva, which is just as desperate for the points after losing 1-0 to Hapoel Ra’anana last week.

Also Saturday, Ra’anana visits Hapoel Haifa, Bnei Sakhnin hosts Hapoel Acre and Ironi Kiryat Shmona welcomes Hapoel Ramat Hasharon.

On Sunday, champion Maccabi Tel Aviv hosts Bnei Yehuda at Bloomfield while Maccabi Haifa visits Ashdod SC.

On TV: Saturday: Hapoel Beersheba vs Hapoel Tel Aviv (live on Sport 1 at 7:15 p.m.); Maccabi Petah Tikva vs Beitar Jerusalem (live on Sport 2 at 8 p.m.)


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