Matchday Two of Ligat Winner is here and one of the most enticing matches in the first round of matches is upon us as the Yellow-and-Blue take on Hapoel Beer Sheva. The second chapter of "Know Your Opponent" will focus on the 2015/16 version of the Beer Sheva club.
Year Founded: 1949
Stadium: 16,000 seat Turner Stadium will be Hapoel Beer Sheva's home this season replacing Wassermil Stadium. But until the new stadium is ready Beer Sheva's home games will be played at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem.
Coach: Barak Bachar takes over as coach from Elisha Levy. Bachar won the Israel State Cup with Kiryat Shemona in 2013/14 and will head the club's professional staff.
Players signed: Dudu Goresh, Ben Turgeman, Shir Tzedek, Matan Ohayon, Tony Nwakaeme, Ben Sahar, Mahran Radi.
Players released: Austin Ejide, Tomislav Pajovic, Dor Melul, David Tweeto, Siraj Nasar, Dovev Gabbay.
Key Player: Though the southern side made many high profile signings during the offseason, Ovidiu Hoban may be the most important player in Barak Bachar's system. The Romanian midfielder who performed magnificently last season is playing a more advanced role this year that has already paid dividends. Hoban scored a goal in the home leg of their Europa League match against Thun as well as one in each of the first three Toto Cup games.
2015/16: Beer Sheva's season began by being eliminated in Europa League play. After a 1:1 draw at home against Thun, the club fell in Switzerland 2:1 and were bounced from Europe for the second straight year. In Toto Cup action, Bachar's club won two matches while losing and drawing one a piece. On Matchday One in Ligat Winner Beer Sheva defeated Kiryat Shemona away 3:1.
Past matches: There have been plenty of terrific matches between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Beer Sheva with the State Cup clash this past May being the one most fresh in everyone's memory. The Yellow-and-Blue completed the domestic Treble by defeating Beer Sheva 6:2 at Sammy Ofer Stadium with goals by Rada Prica who picked up a hat trick, Ziv, Zahavi and Radi in the unforgettable match.