Next season's Premier League will commence on August 27, with Betar Jerusalem set to host Maccabi Tel Aviv in the big game of the first round of action.
Champion Maccabi Haifa hosts Bnei Sakhnin, while last season's runner-up, Maccabi Petah Tikva, takes on newcomer Maccabi Netanya.
In other games, Hapoel Petah Tikva travels to last season's National League champion, Hapoel Kfar Sava; Hapoel Tel Aviv hosts Bnei Yehuda; and Ashdod SC plays at Upper Nazareth.
A week later, Israel plays a World Cup qualifier against Switzerland and the Premier League will take a break. The customary winter break has been canceled at the recommendation of national team coach Avraham Grant.
The Israel Football Association has yet to decide whether one or two teams will be relegated from the Premier League in the coming season, or whether if two teams are relegated both will go down to the National League automatically or one team will be relegated and two other teams will fight it out for survival in a relegation playoff.
On the financial front, Betar Jerusalem was the big winner from yesterday's draw after pulling out of the hat home games against crowd-pullers Maccabi Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa, Bnei Sakhnin and Hapoel Tel Aviv in the first six weeks of play. Ashdod SC was the big loser, drawing three away games in the first month.
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