Soccer / Olim League

England and Jaffa to Meet in Battle to Keep Title Aspirations Alive

Jerusalem and Inter Tel Aviv need win to stay in touch with league leader Ra’anana.

Courtesy of Yoni Sidi

As the SportsDirect Olim League enters Week 7, England and Jaffa are facing fading championship prospects. The two sides take on each other this weekend knowing that anything but a win means that their potential title aspirations will virtually be over.

In recent seasons, England has had the slight edge in head-to-head meetings, though last year honors were shared as the away side came away with all three points. Third-place England FC’s Tal Stern and fifth-place Jaffa’s Daniel Berkely will be relishing this fixture, as both will be looking to extend their scoring run to three consecutive games.

Both sides know each other inside out, and this will prove to be another tight affair, with England FC looking to avenge the 4-3 defeat Jaffa imposed on them in this fixture last year.

Jerusalem (2nd) vs. Inter Tel Aviv (4th)

New boys Inter make the trip to the capital to take on last season’s runner-up for the first meeting between these two. It is a game league leader Ra’anana will be keeping one eye on, to see which of the two will most likely give them the hardest battle for the title come Passover.

Both sides opened the campaign with a defeat, but since then they are both unbeaten in four, with near identical records.

Inter laid down its credentials in an impressive draw against former champs England FC last time out, while a slightly weakened Jerusalem successfully navigated a potential banana skin against Modi’in.

If Inter can restrain Jerusalem’s front men, they may fancy their chances of nicking something from this game.

Modi’in (8th) vs. Real Athletico Jerusalem (6th)

Real Athletico makes the relatively short trip to Modi’in in the knowledge that a win should see the visitors climb the table with teams above them facing each other.

Modi’in has had a very disappointing season so far, with nothing going right for them up front. The team has been routed to the bottom two since the start of the season, and with rumors of a second division opening up next season, following interest from other sides, this is a fixture they must win if they are to stay in the top flight next year.

Their opponents from the capital are a merger of two teams they beat at home last season. Both Modi’in and Real Athletico have similar defensive records, but it is up front where the difference lies, with Real Athletico outscoring Modi’in by a massive 22 goals to six.

Modi’in has had a shaky start, but has an experienced manager. One can expect them to turn their luck around as the season progresses. Unless Modi’in’s strikers make a guest appearance this weekend, they could well find themselves over 10 points behind the team just two places above them in the table, as the Duek brothers will be looking to add to their impressive strike rates for the visitors.

Rainball Tel Aviv (9th) vs. Ra’anana (1st)

Basement side Rainball Tel Aviv will be hoping that runaway leader Ra’anana will show some mercy on them, as the league’s top scorers take on the side with the worst defensive record.

Ra’anana boasts two in-form strikers who have each scored more than their hosts have mustered all season. Ra’anana’s goalkeeper Sapir Marom may be a mere spectator.