The changes of both venues and kickoff time didn’t seem to bother Maccabi’s 28-year-old midfielder Dor Peretz ahead of the penultimate Group B match against Breidablik.
The sub zero conditions led UEFA to move the kickoff time from 20:00 local time to 13:00 (15:00 Israeli time) but also switch the venues from the Laugardalsvollur national stadium to Breidablik’s home in Kopavogsvollur.
“We must adapt,” Peretz said: “If this is UEFA’s decision we must adapt to the conditions. It doesn’t make a difference in what conditions we play or on what playing surface, we must complete our targets and this is what we intend to do tomorrow.”
Peretz, who has been in top form recently scoring 10 in all competitions including a brace in Maccabi’s 3-2 over Zorya at the weekend, added: “I played once on artificial pitch and that is obviously a totally different feeling. We have a training session today, we will be able to adapt and get to learn the surface a bit more.”
Ahead of the match against Breidablik that caused Maccabi some concern when both teams met at Bloomfield in September, Peretz said: “They are a good side, as we recall they came back from 3-0 to 3-2 and could have even equalized. We need to be ready for this game, we know they have a very good build up at the back, have very good players but we know our coach would have us prepared in the best possible way.”
Just like all of Israel’s national team players, Peretz has been out of the country since the trip to Poland for Maccabi’s match away to Zorya on November 5th. On this challenge of being so long away from home, Peretz added: “We left Israel at the beginning of the month and haven’t been back home since. We travelled with Maccabi joined the national team, and returned for Maccabi’s matches. It is a challenging period but we are here to do our best.”