Monday 25 Dec

Hapoel Beer-Sheva vs Maccabi Haifa - Match Preview

24 Dec 2017 Ed Mackey ISRAEL: Premier League
ISRAEL: Premier League

Hapoel Beer Sheva

  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

vs

Kick-off
19:00 GMT
25 December 2017

Maccabi Haifa

  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L

Kick-off
19:00 GMT 25 December 2017

With plenty of European leagues taking a break over the festive period, there is very little football on offer but one league that doesn’t even stop for Christmas Day is the Israeli Premier League. Hapoel Beer-Sheva face Maccabi Haifa on the 25th of December and the hosts can go top of the table with a win, which is a game-in-hand while the visitors need to steer clear of the bottom half of the table, they currently sit 9th out of 14 teams.

STATS

  • The second-placed side have failed to take maximum points from their last few games as they have only won three of their last five matches in the league. They have had to juggle a Europa League campaign as well, one that they have crashed out of, which was always expected. They lost 1-0 to Maccabi Netanya in their last match, which took them three points behind their title rivals.
  • Maccabi Haifa are beginning to be dragged into a relegation dogfight after poor form in the last few weeks. They have won just one of their last five in the league and haven’t won in the last four, a run of results that has seen them slip down the league table. They were convincingly beaten 2-0 by Bnei Yehuda in their last game.
  • Hapoel Beer-Sheva have struggled to find one main prolific goalscorer this term as their current leading scorer, Anthony Nwakaeme, has just five league goals.
  • Maccabi Haifa have experienced an even worse problem in front of goal as their right winger and top scorer, Nikita Rukavytsya, has four league goals.

HEAD TO HEAD

Maccabi Haifa have struggled against Hapoel Beer-Sheva in recent years and have just one win from their last five meetings. Each of the other four ended in losses and they failed to score in all four, conceding eight goals across the games. Their one win came in the most recent league fixture where they convincingly won 3-1 back at the end of August. The two sides recently faced off in the cup, Hapoel Beer-Sheva won 1-0 to take them through.

HAPOEL BEER-SHEVA NEWS

A win by a couple of goals for the hosts would take them top of the Israeli Premier League on Christmas Day. They shouldn’t have too many problems overcoming the inferior opposition but shouldn’t become complacent as they may slip up.

Latest matches: Hapoel Beer Sheva

17.12.2017 Prem Maccabi Netanya Hapoel Beer Sheva 1:0 L
14.12.2017 Leag Maccabi Tel Aviv Hapoel Beer Sheva 1:0 L
10.12.2017 Prem Bnei Sakhnin FC Hapoel Beer Sheva 1:3 W
07.12.2017 UEFA Hapoel Beer Sheva FC Viktoria Plzen 0:2 L
03.12.2017 Prem Hapoel Beer Sheva Ironi Kiryat Shmona 3:1 W

MACCABI HAIFA NEWS

The visitors can push into the top half with three points, especially with a game-in-hand over some of the teams directly above them. It’ll be an uphill but they beat them last season so they know they can do it.

Latest matches: Maccabi Haifa

16.12.2017 Prem Maccabi Haifa Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv 0:2 L
09.12.2017 Prem Maccabi Haifa Hapoel Ashkelon 1:1 D
04.12.2017 Prem Hapoel Haifa Maccabi Haifa 1:0 L
30.11.2017 Leag Hapoel Beer Sheva Maccabi Haifa 1:0 L
25.11.2017 Prem Maccabi Netanya Maccabi Haifa 1:1 D

SUMMARY

On Christmas Day, it is Hapoel Beer-Sheva who will be expecting to take three points in the country where Jesus was born. They will be expecting to go into 2018 top of the table with a chance of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League for the second campaign running. Maccabi Haifa shouldn’t be ruled out and they won’t be a pushover in this festive clash. It will probably be decided by the odd goal.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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