Local Soccer: Rattled Maccabi TA looks to bounce back against Bnei Yehuda

Just 3 matches into his coaching career, Avi Nimni is already starting to show that the pressure is getting to him.

nimmni nimni 88 (photo credit: )
nimmni nimni 88
(photo credit: )
Just three matches into his coaching career, Maccabi Tel Aviv's Avi Nimni is already starting to show that the pressure of the position is beginning to get to him. Nimni limited the gathering press at Kiryat Shalom training ground to just four questions on Thursday and completely prohibited the players from speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's game at Bnei Yehuda. Nimni will not be on the sideline on Saturday after receiving a suspension from the Israel Football Association for his outburst at referee Asaf Keinan following Monday's disappointing 2-0 derby defeat to Hapoel Tel Aviv. "We're preparing for this match in the same way we do for any match," said the impatient Nimni, who will have to manage without the suspended Ilya Yavruyan on Saturday. "I don't want to speak about our previous match. We're looking forward." Top-of-the-table Maccabi Haifa visits Ashdod SC on Saturday and coach Elisha Levy is expecting a very tough match. "Ashdod's players are in top form and have been recording excellent results. They will do all they can to beat us at home and we are preparing for a difficult match," Levy said. After picking up just one point in two matches, Haifa returned to winning ways last week, defeating Hapoel Petah Tikva 4-1 on the road. "We need to enter this match in the same state of mind as we did last week's game at Petah Tikva," Levy said. "We had an excellent first round of matches, but we must remain humble." Ashdod, which lost 3-1 at Haifa in the first week of the season, has won four of its five home matches this season, with its only loss coming against Betar Jerusalem last month. Maccabi Netanya will look to keep pace with Haifa when it hosts Maccabi Petah Tikva on Saturday. Surprisingly, Netanya has done better on the road than it has at home this season, winning its last five matches away, while failing to claim all three points in its last three games in the Box. Petah Tikva, which drew 1-1 with Netanya when the teams first met this season, is in fourth position in the standings, but has failed to win any of its last four matches. Also Saturday, Hapoel Tel Aviv will expect to record its second straight win when it hosts Hakoach Amidar Ramat Gan, and Ironi Kiryat Shmona visits Hapoel Petah Tikva. On Monday, Bnei Sakhnin visits Betar Jerusalem at Teddy Stadium.