ANDY SCHREUR - Friday, December 14, 2012
Bryan Gerzicich returns as Ironi Kiryat Shmona goes for their fourth win in a row at Beitar Jerusalem while Leo Krupnik hopes to break back into Maccabi Netanya's lineup as they face Hapoel Haifa.
Ironi Kiryat Shmona - Beitar Jerusalem
Bryan Gerzicich returned after missing four matches with a calf injury for Wednesday's Toto Cup loss to Hapoel Be'er Sheva, which saw them lose 3-2.
He played 61 minutes as he works back to full match health and is expected to play this weekend in what amounts to an important match for the Blue Lions.
Beitar Jerusalem currently sit in fifth place, two points behind Kiryat Shmona and will be looking to leapfrog them in the standing with a home win on Saturday. They have only lost once in nine games dating back to the end of September and have scored the second most goals in the league this season.
Gerzicich will have his hands full attempting to slow down quick Beitar midfielder Avi Rikan, who has six goals on the season; already twice his total all of last season.
Bolstering Beitar's midfield, they are expected to formally announce the signing of Steve Cohen, who has been training with the club since his release from Waasland-Beveren in Belgium last month.
No injuries have been reported for either team at this time. The match was initially to be played behind closed doors due to ticket issues with Beitar, but the ruling has been lifted and officials expect a sold out crowd.
Ryan Adeleye is looking for his first appearance of the season for Hapoel Be'er Sheva when they take on Bnei Sakhnin on Saturday.
Leonard Krupnik has been in and out of the lineup lately as struggling Maccabi Netanya attempt to find a suitable lineup. They host last place Hapoel Haifa this week, which must feel like a "must win" match for embattled manager Tal Benin.