The matches against Beer Sheva were always difficult. Last season the battle for the title went all season long, but in the end we were stronger than them. I hope that this year Maccabi will be the stronger of the two as well. Right now the situation looks pretty good. Beer Sheva has been in first place for a very long time, however recently they began to drop points and it’s now time for Maccabi to prove themselves.
If you ask me, I believe that Maccabi will win the championship. I didn’t think they would a few weeks ago but now I’m almost 100% sure and experience will play a major role. Beer Sheva can feel the pressure because of the two draws and you have to remember that football is a very mental game. I think that a draw will play right into Maccabi’s hands.
For Maccabi, who won the league title for three straight years, captured the Israel State Cup and advanced to the Champions League it was sensible that the players intensity would drop a bit. But I believe that since they are now in the Championship Playoffs they are beginning to feel the pressure in a positive way. Maccabi has been chasing Beer Sheva all year and now they can smell them, with their hunger returning big time.
After coming back to Israel to play for Maccabi Petach Tikva, I ended up playing my first match against Hapoel Beer Sheva. They are a very strong team especially on offense but they can be punished. They leave a lot of open space between the defenders and the midfielders and Maccabi can take advantage of this as long as they can keep their dangerous attack at bay. There’s no question that their stadium will give them an advantage, but football is a very mental game and the fact that Maccabi has closed the gap to just one-point will play a very key role in this match. I’ll be watching the game tonight and I don’t have to tell you who I’ll be rooting for.