Nine dry seasons and 337 matches have passed since Maccabi Tel Aviv last won the Israeli Premier League title. Here are all the stats in the run up to tonight's match against Hapoel Ramat Hasharon
Last season, Hapoel Kiryat Shmona set the record by ensuring themselves the Premier League title with five games to still to play till the end of the season. If Maccabi win this evening they will be one of only five sides in the history of the league to reach this achievement with four games remaining. The other four are Maccabi Haifa (2005), Maccabi Netanya (1971 and 1980) and Hapoel Petah Tikva (1961).
3 – The three best attended matches by Maccabi Tel Aviv were all played at the National Stadium in Ramat Gan: 43,000 for a match against Maccabi Haifa in the 1992/3 season (with a second match between Bnei Yehuda and Beitar Jerusalem), the same in 1993/4 (along with Tsfirim Holon against Hapoel Tel Aviv) and 40,000 for the 2002/3 derby against Hapoel Tel Aviv.
5 – Maccabi played five matches at the National Stadium in the 2002/3 championship season and won all five of them. One of those matches was a 1-0 win over their principle rivals, Hapoel Tel Aviv, courtesy of a goal by striker Rodrigo Goldberg. Another was a 2-0 win against Maccabi Haifa with goals from striker Andreas Prohonenkovs and midfielder Bruno Hayes.
8 – Eight promoted teams have won their first encounters with Maccabi Tel Aviv: Tiberias, Shimshon Tel Aviv, Bnei Yehuda, Sha'arim, Beit Shean, Ashkelon, Kiryat Shmona and Ramat Hasharon. Ramat Hasharon is the only club among them who also beat Maccabi in their second encounter.
12 – Twelve seasons is the longest period Maccabi Tel Aviv have gone without a league title, from 1979 to 1992. If Maccabi win the championship this year it will be the second longest period, nine years.
14 – Maccabi Tel Aviv have won the league title 14 times since the establishment of the State of Israel. They secured the titles at the following venues: Katamon Stadium (three times – after matches against Hapoel Jerusalem in '58, '70 and '72), Bloomfield Stadium (twice), Basa Stadium – Bloomfield's predecessor (twice), Hamaccabiah Stadium (twice), Beer Sheva, the Tikva neighbourhood Stadium in Tel Aviv, Acre, Kiryat Eliezer in Haifa and in the National Stadium Ramat Gan.
220 – is the total number of 1-0 matches Maccabi Tel Aviv have ever won. That was the result in the last two encounters between Maccabi and Hapoel Ramat Hasharon. In 2001 against Bnei Yehuda, and in 1968 against Hapoel Jerusalem and Machane Yehuda, they had that result three times in one season.
337 – is the number of league ties Maccabi Tel Aviv have played since they last secured the league title, after beating Hapoel Petah Tikva 3-0 away on the 31st of May, 2003.
3,000 – is the highest attendance at any home match played by Hapoel Ramat Hasharon, this season at Grundman Stadium against Maccabi Tel Aviv and last year at Winter Stadium against Maccabi Tel Aviv and at the National Stadium Ramat Gan against Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Last but not least an anecdote. If the season finishes without any more Maccabi Tel Aviv players being sent off, the first Tel Aviv derby in November 2012 will be the only match this term in which MTA players saw red (Carlos Garcia and Eliran Atar were both sent off). Since the double of 1995/6, Maccabi Tel Aviv have never had a season with players red-carded in just one match.
Courtesy of Yaron Mishal