Hapoel and Maccabi Tel Aviv hope to make up lost ground

Both Tel Aviv clubs lost important ground last week and will need to return to winning ways to stop Betar Jerusalem.

Hapoel Tel Aviv 298.88 (photo credit: )
Hapoel Tel Aviv 298.88
(photo credit: )
Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Tel Aviv will be looking to close the gap between them and the top of the Premier League standings on Saturday when they play Hapoel Petah Tikva and Maccabi Petah Tikva, respectively, in Matchday 11. Both Tel Aviv clubs lost important ground last week and will need to return to winning ways to stop Betar Jerusalem from further widening its lead when it plays on Sunday. Maccabi Tel Aviv travels to Petah Tikva to play Hapoel and will hope to embark on another winning streak after drawing 1-1 with Maccabi Haifa last week. Tel Aviv came into the match against Haifa with four consecutive wins, but a late Yaniv Katan penalty ended the yellow-and-blues' hopes of a fifth straight victory. Petah Tikva is tied on points with last-place Maccabi Herzliya and faces its third straight match against a top team after losses to Haifa and Jerusalem. "Petah Tikva is a stubborn and young team that plays aggressively and runs the pitch well," Tel Aviv coach Eli Cohen said ahead of the match. "We need to continue our success regardless of who we play. We have an up-and-coming team and our play is improving with time. I hope we persevere in this and return to winning ways." Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts high-flying Maccabi Petah Tikva and will look to rebound from its 2-1 defeat to Ashdod SC last week. "Sometimes you make mistakes at the start of the match and then you are forced to chase your opponent," Hapoel captain Yossi Abuksis said of the loss against Ashdod. "In the same way we don't talk too much after wins, we also don't dwell on losses. We are looking forward. We are playing one of the best teams in the league and it's going to be a difficult match." Petah Tikva climbed to second place in the standings last week after defeating Bnei Yehuda for its third straight win. Maccabi has been extremely impressive this season and an away win against the reds will put the team at the top of the league. Maccabi Herzliya coach Freddy David is still searching for his first points at the club after losing in his first two matches in charge. David's team is at the bottom of the standings and faces a Netanya club which despite being only four points off the top of the standings, has failed to win consecutive games this season. Netanya defeated Hakoah Amidar Ramat Gan 1-0 last week and will have an ideal opportunity to finally win two games in a row. Ramat Gan hosts surprising Ashdod, which is in third place. Hakoah's only victory of the season came in Matchday 2 and faces Ashdod, which also has a chance to grab first place on Saturday. On Sunday, Betar Jerusalem travels to Bloomfield Stadium to play the disappointing Bnei Yehuda. Maccabi Haifa will host Hapoel Kfar Saba in the last game of Matchday 11 on Monday.