Over many years, there have been 125 league meetings between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Beitar Jerusalem and Maccabi hold the upper hand, having won 51 times. Beitar have won on 38 occasions and 36 matches have ended in a draw. The goal difference is 178-133 in favour of Maccabi.
Maccabi, on 43 points after 17 matches, lead the league from second-placed Maccabi Haifa by six points and Beitar are in third place, four points further adrift, ten points off the pace.
This will be the second time that Maccabi host Beitar at Sammy Ofer Stadium in the league, the last time was in 2014-15. They have hosted their rivals 37 times at Bloomfield, 14 times at Ramat Gan, six in Netanya and once each at Basa and the Maccabiah Stadium, venues that no longer exist.
Maccabi have beaten Beitar in their last four league meetings and another win will equal the record run of five consecutive wins achieved in January, 2011. Beitar, however, beat Maccabi 2-0 last September to win the Toto Cup final.
Maccabi’s biggest win was the 7-0 drubbing in the 2000-01 season when Rodrigo Goldberg and Avi Nimni each scored twice and Dedi Ben Dayan, Guy Tzarfati and Bruch Dego added the other goals. That was also equalled Beitar’s worst-ever league defeat, which the Jerusalem club suffered in 1955-56 when they were beaten by Hapoel Kiryat Haim in a second division clash.
The first phase 4-0 win this season saw Ruslan Barsky score his inaugural goal for Maccabi to seal the scoreline and he was the last of 11 other Maccabi players to score their debut goal for the club. Last before Barsky to achieve the feat was Eran Zahavi, in March 2013.
Maccabi conceded a penalty in the 4-0 win which was saved by Daniel Tenenbaum and it is the only spot kick that has been awarded against the league leaders so far this season. In the past three seasons, Maccabi have conceded six penalties but only one has been converted directly. Two goals have come off a rebound and three have been saved.
At least 64 players have turned out for both clubs over the years and of the current squad, four players have previously been on Beitar’s books: Omer Atzili, Itay Shechter, Avi Rikan and Eitan Tibi.
Avi Nimni has made most appearances for Maccabi against Beitar and he has scored 15 goals against them.
Maccabi have scored a 90th minute winner only once in the past, when Eran Zahavi struck for 3-2 in the 2015-16 season, when he broke the all-time season scoring record that had stood for 61 years.