The Yellow & Blue will visit Hapoel Tel Aviv on Matchday 18 of the Ligat Ha’Al at the Moshava Stadium in Petach Tikva on Monday January 16th at 21:00. The last time the two sides met in September at the Netanya Stadium, Maccabi scored one of their most historic Derby wins as they defeated the The Reds 5:0. Sports Director Jordi Cruyff addressed the press prior to the match:

“I think that these games have tactical things that can be prepared for. But they are not games that you need to motivate the players as they will come into the game with 200% effort. Plus their fans will be behind them so we can’t go into the game with any arrogance but with the goal to win and to take the points.”

Maccabi won last Derby 5:0:

“Every game is different and we don’t look like the same team when we won 5:0. We have to be focused on ourselves with maximum concentration.”

Hapoel is coming into the game in a different situation:

“It depends how you want to look at it. It’s a Derby and anything can happen. When someone is hurt or if you are in a difficult situation they will I give more than 100%. Derbies are full of surprises.”

Coaching his last game:

“We will see in the coming days.”

Rumors in the media:

“I don’t put any energy or attention in to what people write and we want to focus on our own job and isolate the stories that are on the non professional side.”

Chasing Beer Sheva:

“It’s our own fault that we are in this situation and a lot depends on the character we have on the team. It’s a chance to see what type of character we have and this situation was a consequence of us not winning games that we should have won.”

Playing better now than two weeks ago:

“I don’t think I changed anything and I think the players stepped it up over the past few games. The players are taking responsibility.”

The Starting XI:

“Every game has a different strategy so we will see. This philosophy is not part of modern football. You make a squad with different ingredients as each game requires different people. I have never seen Haris Medunjanin or Nosa Igiebor as a defensive midfielder and you can’t say that Maccabi is a defensive team. The stats over the past few years say that we are an offensive club.”

Oscar Scarione’s fitness:

“He is fit, last game he wasn’t not 100%. But we will see in a bit where he stands”

Barak Itzhaki’s status with the club:

“A player who has played the past few games is not in the plans to leave. Barak knows the true story and clubs may want him but he knows the full story.”