Betar Jerusalem may be seven points clear at the top of the Israeli Premier League, but coach Itzhak Schum is becoming increasingly wary of Maccabi Haifa's recent resurgence. Last weekend the Greens showed just how far they have come in turning around their season with a commendable performance in a 3-0 defeat of Hapoel Kfar Saba away from home and coach Roni Levy's side will be expecting to pick up another three points at Ironi Kiryat Shmona on Saturday. Haifa had started the season off so badly that it looked like it would have little chance to challenge for the title. But improvements from players such as Yaniv Katan and Lior Rafaelov, as well as consistently strong displays by Renato up front, have catapulted the 2006 league winner into second place. Kiryat Shmona, which was promoted to the top division for the first time last May, has had a mightily impressive start to the season and is yet to lose a home game in the league. Ahead of the match Levy spoke of his team's need to "continue the momentum at every stadium we visit." "Kiryat Shmona has been playing good football this season but we want to be the first to hand them a home defeat," Levy said. Jerusalem hosts Maccabi Petah Tikva at Teddy Stadium on Saturday on the back of a 3-0 defeat by Ukranian side Shakhtar Donetsk in the Channel One Cup on Wednesday. The yellow and black looked under pressure in last weekend's game at Ashdod SC and will look to new Peruvian signing Cesar Junior Viza to provide some extra zest following striker Barak Itzhaki's transfer to Belgian club KRC Genk. Also Saturday, Hapoel Tel Aviv visits Bnei Sakhnin, still in need of points to drag itself away from the relegation zone. Tel Aviv is currently in third from bottom position but is equal on points with Ashdod SC which plays bottom club Bnei Yehuda in a relation battle. Matchday 17 concludes Sunday when Maccabi Tel Aviv visits Maccabi Netanya.