Local Soccer: Levy confident ahead of Hap TA clash

Haifa hosts Tel Aviv in Monday's "game of the season"; Betar needs a win at Ashdod.

By
April 23, 2010 04:22
3 minute read.
MACCABI HAIFA'S Gustavo Boccoli celebrates during

mac haifa 311. (photo credit: Adi Avishai)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Maccabi Haifa coach Elisha Levy was in a confident mood ahead of Monday's crunch showdown against Hapoel Tel Aviv at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium on Thursday, saying he believes a victory will all but guarantee his side a second straight Premier League title.

Haifa has led the standings throughout the season, but currently holds just a three-point margin over Hapoel, which will leapfrog the Greens into first position with a victory on Monday thanks to a superior goal difference.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Levy's men have won a remarkable 26 of 31 matches so far, but Hapoel has also been in inspiring form for much of the campaign, and especially in recent weeks, winning 10 of its last 11 encounters.

Tel Aviv has also benefited from the league¹s new format, which saw Haifa's gap halved from six to three points two weeks ago ahead of the final five matches of the season.

However, Haifa still has its fate in its own hands, and Levy is optimistic his team will close in on another league title with a victory at Kiryat Eliezer.

"Both teams have different styles of play but are both excellent sides," Levy said.

"I presume neither team will be looking to entertain on Monday. Barcelona had the lions' share of possession in its Champions League semifinal first leg against Inter, but Inter was the more dangerous team and won 3-1," added Levy, hinting to the general belief that Tel Aviv plays a more attractive style of soccer than Haifa.



"We will do everything to win because three points will take us within touching distance of the championship."

Levy feels that the fact that Hapoel will have to go for a victory at all cost, as each team will only have three matches remaining after Monday, could work in Haifa's favor.

"Hapoel has to win, but we know that if we win we will take the championship," he said. "We have the edge as we hold a three-point lead and are hosting the game. We just need to focus on our play and continue our great season."

With the mouthwatering title decider not being played until Monday, the battle against relegation will take center stage on Saturday.

A stoppage time strike by goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi gave Ahi Nazareth an important point against Hapoel Haifa last week, but John Gregory's side will feel it must take all three points on Saturday if it¹s to remain in the top-flight.

Nazareth hosts Hapoel Petah Tikva and will move tied on points with Eli Mahpud's team with a home victory.

Hapoel Ra'anana is five points adrift of survival and hosts Hapoel Acre on Saturday in a must-win match. Ra'anana has won just once in 2010 and will be facing an Acre side brimming with confidence after its 2-1 defeat over Hapoel Petah Tikva last week.

On Sunday, Hapoel Haifa visits Hapoel Ramat Gan.


Betar Jerusalem will be looking to keep alive its hopes of overtaking Maccabi Tel Aviv and finishing third when it visits Ashdod SC on Saturday.

After winning five straight matches, Betar has failed to score in its last three, drawing with Hapoel Ramat Gan before losing twice to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Betar defender Arik Benado was sentenced to five days of house arrest on Thursday after being caught driving away from the club's training ground a day after his driver's license was revoked for speeding. Regardless, Benado was set to miss Saturday¹s match through suspension.

Also Saturday, Maccabi Netanya visits Maccabi Petah Tikva and Hapoel Beersheba travels up North to face Bnei Sakhnin.

Bnei Yehuda is tied on points with Betar and welcomes Maccabi Tel Aviv on Saturday.

Related Content

dudi sela
August 31, 2014
Sela steamrolled by Dimitrov

By ALLON SINAI