Hapoel Tel Aviv's OMER DAMARI 370.
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Hapoel Tel Aviv has participated in the group stage of a European competition in
five of the past six seasons and will be confident of taking a significant step
towards another extended continental campaign when it visits F91 Dudelange of
Luxembourg in the first leg of the Europa League playoffs on Thursday
Hapoel has played in the group stage of the UEFA Cup/Europa League
four times since 2006 (2006/07, 2007/08, 2009/10 2011/12), also reaching the
Champions League groups in 2010/11, and it will be a firm favorite to overcome
The Luxembourg champion stunned Red Bull Salzburg of Austria
in the second qualifying round of the Champions League, but suffered a double
defeat to Maribor of Slovenia in the subsequent round, losing 5-1 on aggregate,
to drop to the Europa League and shouldn’t pose any real threat to
Nigerian midfielder Nosa Igiebor, who is set to leave for Spain’s
Real Betis by the end of the August transfer window, could make his final
appearance for Hapoel tonight, while several players will be recording their
European debut for the Reds in Luxembourg.
Former Manchester United
midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba, who arrived from Odense BK of the Danish league,
will start in the center of the field, with Brazilian Bruno and Israel
international Tal Ben-Haim also expected to play.