After a long season that began last summer, Maccabi Tel Aviv will end the 2018/19 Israel Premier League Ligat Japanika campaign with a match on Saturday at Hapoel Beer Sheva (20:00). Vladimir Ivic’s squad had a phenomenal season, one of the best ever in Israeli football history and just ahead of the contest we decided to take a look at some of the records that the Yellow & Blue may break with the end of the campaign.
Biggest point gap of all time
We already know that Maccabi will set the biggest point gap between first and second place of all time as the curtain comes down on the season. The biggest gap to date had been 16 points set by Maccabi Haifa in 2005/06 and Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2013/14.
The gap is currently at 31 points after Matchday 35. If Maccabi bests Beer Sheva and Maccabi Haifa doesn’t beat Maccabi Netanya the Yellow & Blue will also set the biggest gap of the season. Until this year, the gap had been 18 points by Maccabi Haifa in 2004/05 between Matchdays 22-24.
A victory over Beer Sheva will increase the gap to 34 points. The current record at the end of the season between champion from champion is 32 points which was set in 1986/87 when the new champ Beitar Jerusalem had 66 points while the outgoing titleholder Hapoel Tel Aviv had 34 points.
Highest success rate of all time
The 1995/96 Maccabi Tel Aviv squad holds the highest success rate since the league moved to 3 points earned per victory (1982/83) – 82.2% success rate. A win on Saturday would set a new record of 82.4%.
In addition, if Maccabi defeats Beer Sheva they will reach 89 points – the all time club record and second in league history (after Maccabi Haifa 1993/94 – 95 points, 39 Matchdays).
A victory on Saturday will be Maccabi’s 27th of the season and it will also match the club’s all time record which was set in 1993/94. If Maccabi doesn’t lose at Turner Stadium they will end the campaign with only one loss which will place them with three other teams who did the same (there are 3 more teams that went undefeated).
There hasn’t been a team in the 2000’s which has gone undefeated and only Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2009/10 finished the season with one loss.
A season without an away loss?
If the champion leaves Beer Sheva with a win or draw, the club will end the campaign without an away loss and will join 5 other teams which have done the same.
On the defensive side, if the Yellow & Blue record a clean sheet, that will be the 21st time this season that they would not concede a goal in a match and would equal the record set by Kiryat Shemona in 2011/12.
Eliran Atar has scored 12 goals this season, two less than Ben Sahar of Hapoel Beer Sheva who is the current goal scoring leader. To date, Atar has won the title twice: In 2012/13 and in 2008/09 (with Bnei Yehuda along with Shemona Abuhatzera and Barak Itzhaki).