Kfar Saba looking to escape relegation zone

Hapoel Kfar Saba is on the verge of completing one of the most impressive comebacks in recent memory.

By
April 21, 2006 07:57
2 minute read.

 
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Hapoel Kfar Saba is the team of the moment in the Premier League, as it's on the verge of completing one of the most impressive comebacks in recent memory and salvaging its domestic season. Eli Ohana's side is riding an unprecedented eight-game unbeaten streak, which has lifted it from the last place and provided it with a realistic chance to climb up to 10th place in the standings. The Kfar Saba coach is brimming with confidence and has declared that his team has the best chance to survive in the top flight compared to rivals Bnei Sakhnin and Upper Nazareth. "We are sure Nazareth will lose points in its remaining games, as its schedule is very tough," the former Betar Jerusalem star and coach told reporters ahead of Matchday 30. "I don't believe Sakhnin stands a chance. We just have to do our job." The Friday afternoon fixture features tail-ender Bnei Sakhnin and Hapoel Petah Tikva facing off at Doha Stadium in the Israeli-Arab town. Sakhnin has a dismal 24 points, five less than 11thplace Kfar Saba, and it appears the team has come to terms with the bitter reality of relegation. Petah Tikva will be looking to collect all three points from the fixture to maintain a safe gap from the drop zone. Ravid Gazal has resumed training after recovering from a nagging knee injury and might be included in the starting lineup after a long absence. Betar Jerusalem hopes to bounce back from its traumatic loss to Maccabi Tel Aviv last week when it hosts Reuven Atar's Maccabi Netanya at Teddy Stadium. The yellow-and-black will have to manage without Jerome Leroy and Igor Mitresky, who are both serving one-game suspensions after being sent off last weekend. Gal Alberman is expected to return to Luis Fernandez's starting 11. Ohana's in-form Hapoel Kfar Saba will be in action against Guy Luzon's Maccabi Petah Tikva, hoping to secure a positive result and finally climb above the red line after weeks of hard work. The "Luzons" will be without Omer Golan, who suffered a serious head injury in last week's Petah Tikva derby and has not yet been cleared to return to training. Playmaker Salim Toema is also doubtful due to illness. Hapoel Tel Aviv needs a victory over host Ashdod SC to have any chance of preventing Maccabi Haifa from clinching its third straight league championship this weekend. Dror Kashtan will be without the services of Yossi Abuksis, who was sent off in last week's game at Netanya for unsportsmanlike behavior. Shai Abutbul is expected to fill in for the veteran midfielder. Ton Caanen's Maccabi Tel Aviv, boosted by last week's win over Betar Jerusalem, will take on Nitzan Shirazi's Bnei Yehuda in a secondary Tel Aviv derby. The yellow-and-blue will show up in full strength, as the trio of Aviv Nimni, Eyal Berkovic and Giovanni Rosso are match-fit and expected to be in the starting lineup. A Hapoel Tel Aviv loss or draw hands Maccabi Haifa the league title. Even if Hapoel Tel Aviv wins, Haifa, which is 11 points in front with four matches remaining in the season, will clinch the league title on Sunday if it beats Motti Ivanir's Upper Nazareth at Kiryat Eliezer.

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