BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, August 19, 2011
In the opening weekend of the Israeli Premier League, Leo Krupnik and Maccabi Netanya host Maccabi Haifa while Bryan Gerzicich and Hapoel Kiryat Shmona visit Hapoel Haifa.
Maccabi Netanya - Maccabi Haifa
After missing out on the Europa League on the final weekend of the season, Maccabi Netanya will look to begin the season on a high note when they host the defending champions at Sar-Tov Stadium on Saturday.
During the offseason, Leo Krupnik signed a contract extension with Maccabi Netanya and is likely to start the game for the Diamonds.
Maccabi Haifa are coming off an impressive win over Genk on Wednesday in the Champions League and will aim to carry that momentum into league play.
Injured midfielder Eyal Golasa will not play for Maccabi Haifa while Maccabi Netanya are not reporting any injuries at this time.
Hapoel Haifa - Hapoel Kiryat Shmona
Hapoel Kiryat Shmona will be looking to build off their best ever fifth place finish last year in the Israeli Premier League when they open the 2011/12 season on the road against Hapoel Haifa.
Bryan Gerzicich will start for Kiryat Shmona in defensive midfield.
Last season was one to remember for Kiryat Shmona as they entered into the season as a newly promoted team but remained towards the top of the table all season long. The club comes from the very small town in the northernmost point in Israel and it is the smallest town in the country to have a team in the Premier League.
Hapoel Haifa enter the game coming off a disappointing tenth place finish in the Premier League but are expected to do much better this season.
Hapoel Haifa will be without injured midfielder Shay Revivo for the game but Kiryat Shmona are not reporting any injuries.
New Jersey-born defender Ryan Adeleye will not play this weekend for Hapoel Be'er Sheva and Beitar Jerusalem as the game has been canceled due to unrest in Southern Israel.