BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, February 17, 2012
Bryan Gerzicich and Kiryat Shmona will hope to extend their lead in the Israeli Premier League while Leo Krupnik and Maccabi Netanya host third place Ashdod.
Maccabi Petah Tikva - Hapoel Kiryat Shmona
After a heartbreaking draw last week at home to Hapoel Be'er Sheva, league leaders Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona will be looking to rebound this Saturday when they visit Maccabi Petah Tikva.
Los Angeles-born Bryan Gerzicich will start in central midfield for Kiryat Shmona.
Last weekend Kiryat Shmona controlled the game against Be'er Sheva but were only able to score once. In the 78th minute, however, they conceded an equalizer and had to settle for just one point.
The draw saw Kiryat Shmona's league slip from 12 points to 10 as Hapoel Tel Aviv managed a victory.
Maccabi Petah Tikva currently sits in 11th place with 28 points through 25 games. After winning three straight games last weekend they dropped a 4-1 decision to Maccabi Haifa.
Kiryat Shmona will be without injured midfielder William Njobvu
Maccabi Petah Tikva are not reporting any injuries at this time.
Maccabi Netanya - Ashdod
Maccabi Netanya have been struggling recently but they will look to get back on the winning track when they host third place Ashdod at Sar-Tov Stadium on Saturday.
Soviet Union-born Leo Krupnik is likely to start for Netanya.
Maccabi Netanya have won just once in their last six Premier League games and they now sit in 10th place. Despite that, they are even on points for eighth place and the final spot in the Premier League playoffs.
Last weekend was a particularly bitter loss where they fell 3-1 to last place Hapoel Petah Tikva.
Ashdod had been contenders but a recent skid has seen them drop to third place and 11 points back of leaders Kiryat Shmona. Last weekend they earned a crucial win against Hapoel Haifa 3-2 to remain in contention for a Europa League birth.
Neither side is reporting any injuries at this time.
Ryan Adeleye will hope to see the bench for Hapoel Be'er Sheva when they host Hapoel Petah Tikva.