PREVIEW: MIDWEEK ISRAELI ACTION
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TAHARKA TAYLOR - Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Both Israeli State Cup semifinal matches take place on Wednesday at Ramat Gan Stadium with Bryan Gerzicich and Hapoel Kiryat Shmona taking on Hapoel Tel Aviv while Leo Krupnik and Maccabi Netanya will face Maccabi Haifa shortly after.

Hapoel Kiryat Shmona - Hapoel Tel Aviv

Hapoel Kiryat Shmona must rebound from a disappointing 2-1 home loss to Bnei Yehuda in the third round of the Israeli Championship playoffs as they divert their attention back to the Israeli State Cup.

Bryan Gerzicich will likely patrol the area just in front of the back line in his usual defensive mid role.

Kiryat Shmona have dropped to sixth place in the Championship playoffs and would need to make up six points in just two matches to catch third place Maccabi Tel Aviv.

A win would push them through to the State Cup Finals and likely provides their best shot at qualifying for the Europa League. However, the team has never taken part in a State Cup Semifinal before and must first beat the competitions reigning champions in Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Neither team are reporting any injuries at this time.

Maccabi Netanya - Maccabi Haifa

Maccabi Netanya will look to extend their unbeaten streak to 17 games on Wednesday against a talented Maccabi Haifa side in the State Cup Semifinals. Maccabi Netanya barely squeezed by Ashdod on penalties a month ago to reach the semifinal.

American central-defender Leo Krupnik will help anchor the defense for Maccabi Netanya after going the full 90 minutes in a 2-2 draw with Hapoel Tel Aviv over the weekend.

This is a highly important week for Maccabi Netanya as they have not won the State Cup tournament since 1978 and are also still very much alive in the Israeli Championship Playoffs where they will host Bnei Yehuda on Saturday.

Maccabi Haifa will provide a difficult test for The Diamonds as the squad features some of the key players that carried the team to a finals appearance just two years ago.

Neither team are reporting any injuries at this time.
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