ANDY SCHREUR - Friday, January 4, 2013
Bryan Gerzicich and Ironi Kiryat Shmona look to keep their hot streak alive when they host Maccabi Tel Aviv while Leo Krupnik hopes to return to Maccabi Netanya's lineup as they face Hapoel Be'er Sheva.
Ironi Kiryat Shmona - Maccabi Tel Aviv
Bryan Gerzicich and the Blue Lions hope to their six-match point streak going on Monday when they welcome first-place Maccabi Tel Aviv to Northern Israel.
Kiryat Shmona has risen into a tie for third place behind Ashdol while playing their best soccer of the season.
Continuing the run will be a difficult task as Tel Aviv has been solid the entire season. They are led by striker Eliran Atar, who leads the league with 14 goals this season, already one higher than his total for all of last season.
Kiryat Shmona is peaking at the right time of the season and have their eye set on another run towards European qualification. With ten matches left in the season, they are eight points shy of the league leader's from Tel Aviv.
Both teams will likely be active players in the transfer window, which is in full swing in Israel.
On Thursday, Tel Aviv released Welshman Robert Earnshaw, who is expected to return to Cardiff to be with his family. Rumors are also swirling around a swoop for Palermo midfielder Eran Zahavi, an Israeli National Team player. Tel Aviv is also reportedly interested in Kiryat Shmona playmaker Shimon Abuhatzira, who leads the Lions with eight goals this season.
As a potential replacement in the front, Kiryat Shmona are in talks with Gent for a loan deal for striker Shlomi Arbeitman, who began his career in Israel.
Leonard Krupnik has not featured in Maccabi Netanya's lineup in recent weeks as the struggling club face off against Hapoel Be'er Sheva this weekend. Ryan Adeleye has reportedly been released from Hapoel Be'er Sheva and is expected to sign with second division Israeli club Hapoel Ashkelon.