Goalkeeper Nir Davidovitch, who will stand in as captain for Yaniv Katan this evening, admitted yesterday that Haifa's hopes to bring home any points depends on its defense. "Juventus won't settle for anything less than victory," he said of Haifa's Italian opponent. "They'll come out and attack from the first minute, and we need to prepare accordingly. No one wants a draw - not them, and not us."
Coach Elisha Levy spent the past two days trying to instill confidence into his players ahead of tonight's match against Juventus. He listed his concerns to his Haifa players in the wake of injuries to Katan and Eyal Golasa, as well as Biram Kiyal's suspension. Levy told his charges during a meeting to discuss tactics that only by having faith in themselves could they surprise their Italian hosts. "We'll play our style, leaning toward attack," he said. "You need to be wary of Juventus as a team, and not of one player or another."
Levy is apparently planning to open with Ali Ottman in left midfield in place of Mohammad Ghadir, based on yesterday's practice. Shlomi Arbeitman and Vladimir Dvalishvili will share duties on attack, hoping to take advantage of a diluted defense. Gustavo Boccoli will fill in for Kiyal, while Lior Refaelov will start in Golasa's absence.
While Haifa seems to know Juventus, its rival does not seem to have done its homework. Only at yesterday's press conference did Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara realize Katan never even arrived in Italy.
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