By ALLON SINAI
Maccabi Haifa's perfect start to the Premier League season faces its toughest test to date on Monday when Elisha Levy's men visit Hapoel Tel Aviv at Bloomfield Stadium.
Haifa came back from a goal down in each of its first three matches of the season, but will be unlikely to have it all its own way against Hapoel as it did against the newly promoted Hapoel Acre, Hapoel Ra'anana and Hapoel Ramat Gan.
Tel Aviv will be entering the encounter, which was brought forward a week because of Yom Kippur, on a high and brimming with confidence after claiming a dramatic 2-1 victory over Celtic in its Europa League group stage opener on Thursday.
Haifa's first match in the Champions League group stage did not go as well, with the Greens succumbing 3-0 to Bayern Munich at National Stadium in Ramat Gan last Tuesday.
Levy is expected to make just one change from the starting line-up which faced Bayern, resting Israel international Biram Kiyal and replacing him with Colombian John Culma to take his place.
Hapoel coach Eli Gutman will also likely start 10 of the same 11 players who began the match against Celtic, with Itai Shechter expected to replace an ailing Samuel Yeboah.
"I hope you enjoyed Rosh Hashana, but we must remain focused and be ready for Hapoel," Levy told his players on Sunday. "It is going to be a very tough match."
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