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Beitar Jerusalem shuffles lineup ahead of encounter with soccer rival Mac. Tel Aviv

Beitar Jerusalem officials are treating tonight’s Premier League soccer match against Maccabi Tel Aviv as one of the team’s most important of the season. They say Beitar coach Eli Cohen is planning to make a number of changes in the starting 11: Barak Moshe will play in defense alongside Kobi Moyal. Dan Einbinder, Shai Haddad or Avi Reikan will play the right-back position. Beitar will play with two strikers: Leonardo Passos and Amit Ben Shushan. Over at Maccabi Tel Aviv, Barak Levi − who was suspended over the weekend − is expected to be benched. Guy Haimov will return to the goalposts. (Moshe Boker‏)

Lawyers to Hapoel Tel Aviv: Let client in soccer contract dispute play

The public contract dispute between Shay Abutbul and Eli Tabib, the owner of Hapoel Tel Aviv’s soccer team, reached new heights yesterday. Abutbul’s lawyers issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the club, and to coach Nitzan Shirazi, to retract their decision not to play the midfielder in games as long as his case is in arbitration. Abutbul asserted in the letter that the move violates his contract and threatened to take legal action if he is not allowed to play. He told Shirazi yesterday the letter is not a threat but rather a formal legal step. ‏(Moshe Boker‏)

Maccabi Ashdod women hoopsters aiming to stay on top of Premier League

Maccabi Ashdod will try to preserve its lead in the women’s basketball Premier League standings when it visits Ramat Hasharon, which had its three-game wining streak snapped last week in Netanya. Second-place Elitzur Ramle should have an easier time at Hapoel Ariel Tel Aviv. Maccabi Ramat Hen, in fourth place, takes on Hapoel Petah Tikva. Habikaa hosts Bnot Hasharon in a mid-table battle, while Elitzur Netanya goes to Elitzur Holon. ‏(Arie Livnat‏)