Beersheba a must-win for Hap TA ahead of Haifa duel

Reds close in on De Ridder signing; Hap PT, Sakhnin draw 0-0 in snoozer; Guma's wife speaks.

Hapoel TA 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Hapoel TA 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Hapoel Tel Aviv will be desperate to claim all three points when it hosts Hapoel Beersheba on Monday night ahead of next week's crunch meeting against Maccabi Haifa.
Haifa opened a 13-point gap at the top of the Premier League standings on Saturday with a 5-0 victory over Hapoel Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv knows that anything but a victory on Monday will be a massive blow to its title hopes.
The Reds have won nine of their last 11 league matches, but could only manage a 0-0 draw at Maccabi Petah Tikva last week.
Meanwhile, Hapoel is continuing in its efforts to strengthen its squad in the January transfer window and is reportedly very close to signing Wigan's Dutch-Jewish winger Daniel De Ridder.
The 25-year-old, who began his career at Ajax before moving to Celta Vigo in Spain and Birmingham City, has not played for Wigan this season and made just 18 appearances for the English club last season.
On Sunday, Hapoel Petah Tikva and Bnei Sakhnin drew 0-0 in the Premier League, giving each team a single point that does them little good in their battle against relegation.
Also Sunday, Guma Aguiar's wife, Jamie, spoke for the first time since taking out a court order last Wednesday to forcibly admit her husband to the Abarbanel Psychiatric Hospital.
"I love Guma very much and it is important for me to be with him in his time of need, and therefore I will be returning to Israel with our children in the coming days," said Jamie Aguiar, who flew to the US last Thursday.
"I left for the US after consulting with his doctors and being told that he needs a complete rest and that it would be better for me to go to the US and come back to Jerusalem with our small children, so that when Guma comes home, his loving family will be here with him and give him the warmth and love he needs."
The Betar Jerusalem and Hapoel Jerusalem sponsor is expected to remain in the psychiatric hospital for at least another week after his mental health had deteriorated in recent weeks, culminating in his claims that he had visited Gaza and had met captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.