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