Cohen to be honored throughout League

Black armbands for each team; Hap TA can go top for 1st time this season.

Tamuz 311  (photo credit: (Adi Avishai))
Tamuz 311
(photo credit: (Adi Avishai))
The Premier League will return to action after a one-week break on Saturday, with Israeli soccer still reeling from the death of Avi Cohen on Wednesday.
All of this weekend’s matches will begin with a ceremony in memory of the former Maccabi Tel Aviv and Liverpool defender, with a minute of applause to be held ahead of the start of the games and all of the players to wear black armbands.
Hapoel Tel Aviv can climb to the top of the standings for at least 48 hours on Saturday when it hosts Hapoel Haifa at Bloomfield Stadium in its first match of the second round of the campaign.
The reigning-champion fell to a stunning 1-0 loss at Haifa in its season opener, but has since got its title-defense back on track, winning nine of its last 11 contests, including its last three by a combined goal difference of 10-1.
The Reds currently trail league-leader Maccabi Haifa by two points, with Haifa to host third-placed Maccabi Tel Aviv on Monday.
The two teams also faced off in the Toto Cup quarterfinals on Thursday, with Tel Aviv advancing to the semis with a 1-0 extra-time win thanks to Roberto Colautti’s 94th minute goal.
The yellow-and-blue will face Maccabi Petah Tikva in the last four, with Ironi Kiryat Shmona to play Bnei Yehuda in the other semifinal.
Kiryat Shmona has struggled to maintain its early-season league form in recent weeks, going winless in its last four matches.
Ran Ben-Shimon’s team will have an ideal opportunity to recover from its poor run of results when it visits the lowly Bnei Sakhnin on Saturday.
Betar Jerusalem, which beat Kiryat Shmona 1-0 two weeks ago, will be looking to continue its surge up the table when it hosts Maccabi Netanya at Teddy Stadium on Saturday.
Jerusalem has won four of its last five matches, while Netanya has taken all three points from only one of its last seven encounters.
Also Saturday, Hapoel Acre visits Ashdod SC, Hapoel Beersheba welcomes Maccabi Petah Tikva and Hapoel Ramat Gan hosts Bnei Yehuda.
Hapoel Petah Tikva faces Hapoel Ashkelon on Sunday.Pre