The match of the day in soccer’s Sportsdirect.com Olim League sees Jaffa looking to pull away from local rival Inter, in the battle for bragging rights as the league’s top Tel Aviv-Jaffa-based team.
When these sides met earlier in the season, Inter came away the happier side after a hard-fought 4-2 victory. However since then, Daniel Berkeley has worked wonders with his troops as Jaffa has only lost once in the past three months, as they have steadily climbed the table to second. Inter is fourth.
Inter has been a breath of fresh air this year in its inaugural season, and has been solid ever since their opening day mauling by league leader Ra’anana. Anything but a win for either side could put an end to any title hopes this year, depending on how other results go.
Fifth-place England is supposed to take on league-leader Ra’anana, but this game is in doubt after Ra’anana put in a request to postpone it due to a lack of players, citing military service. England FC agreed to the request should Ra’anana fail to raise a full team. Should the game go ahead, both sides will go into this fixture with key players absent, including ex-Hendon United players Motti Colman (England FC), who is suspended, and Josh Lipman (Ra’anana), who is abroad.
In the weekend’s other two matches, third-place Jerusalem, which has the highest goals per game ratio and lowest goals per game conceded in the league, should have an easy time against last-place Rainball Tel Aviv, while Ashdod needs just one point against Modi’in, also in the cellar, to get out of the bottom three. Despite missing a couple of key players, Jerusalem should still have plenty of fire power to see them stay within touching distance of the two teams ahead of them.
Both Ashdod and Modi’in go into their fixture on the back of defeats against the top two sides last week. Modi’in lost by the odd goal against Jaffa in a game during which both sides missed penalties, and Ashdod lost a heated affair against Ra’anana in a game they ended with nine players.