Reds turn attention to maiden league victory

Hapoel Tel Aviv will try to bounce back against Hapoel Ashkelon after losing in opener.

hapoel tel aviv eran  zehavi 311 (photo credit: Adi Avishai)
hapoel tel aviv eran zehavi 311
(photo credit: Adi Avishai)
After suffering a shock defeat in its Premier League opener, Hapoel Tel Aviv will expect to get its 2010/11 campaign on track when it hosts Hapoel Ashkelon at Bloomfield Stadium on Saturday evening.
Hapoel will surely still be coming off the Champions League high progressing to the group stage of the European soccer’s most prestigious competition on Tuesday, but nevertheless will be a firm favorite to beat last season’s National League runner-up.
Tel Aviv will still be without the injured Itai Shechter on Saturday and coach Eli Gutman will likely rest several other players after the exhausting playoff tie against Red Bull Salzburg.
Ashkelon beat Hapoel Petah Tikva 3-1 to get its campaign off to a perfect start last weekend and will be hoping to take advantage of the fact that Saturday’s match will be played in front of empty stands due to a punishment Hapoel was handed for its fans’ unruliness during last season.
Maccabi Haifa began the season with an impressive 1-0 victory at Maccabi Tel Aviv last week and will be confident of making it two wins in a row when it hosts Maccabi Petah Tikva on Saturday.
Petah Tikva lost 1-0 to Hapoel Beersheba in its season opener.
Maccabi Netanya was the surprise of the first weekend, thrashing Betar Jerusalem 4-1.
On Saturday, Reuven Atar’s team visits Bnei Sakhnin, which was disappointing in a 2-0 defeat at Ironi Kiryat Shmona last week.
Also Saturday, Kiryat Shmona visits Ashdod SC, Beersheba hosts Bnei Yehuda, Hapoel Petah Tikva welcomes Hapoel Acre and Hapoel Haifa travels down south to face Hapoel Ramat Gan.
Betar Jerusalem hosts Maccabi Tel Aviv on Sunday.