The TASE Premier League will return to regular action this weekend after a three-week break for national team play and to allow time for the grass settle following winter re-seeding.

Maccabi’s assignment is an away fixture against Hapoel Kiryat Shmona on Saturday at 17:30 at the northern team’s home ground.

Maccabi go into the game as league leaders. They are on 26 points, three ahead of Maccabi Haifa in second place.

Maccabi’s last fixture was a 3-0 win over Hapoel Haifa and the upcoming clash will be an important preparation four days before the first Tel Aviv derby of the season.

Maintaining the good form is obviously vital, and coach Vladimir Ivic’s  club will look to surpass the all-time Israeli record of not conceding a goal. Goalkeeper Daniel Tenenbaum will be between the posts as Maccabi look to stretch their 11-game unbeaten run and keeping their goalmouth tightly shut.

Ten more minutes are needed to set a new mark of 1,003 minutes without conceding. The current record of 1,002 minutes is held by Maccabi Haifa and goalkeeper Giora Antman and was set in 1988-89.

Maccabi’s opponents, Kiryat Shmona, have had a disappointing start to the season and lie in 12th place in the standings with only seven points. The club appointed new coach Kobi Refuah a few weeks ago in place of Masai Dago but Refuah’s record on the sidelines is not great. He has presided over one win and two defeats, one of which was the 1-0 defeat to Hapoel Tel Aviv in last round of action before the break.