PREVIEW: MIDWEEK ISRAELI ACTION
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BRIAN SCIARETTA - Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Bryan Gerzicich and Hapoel Kiryat Shmona will aim to keep a firm grip on first place in the Israeli Premier League when they host Hapoel Petah Tikva while Leo Krupnik and Maccabi Netanya visit Maccabi Petah Tikva.

Hapoel Kiryat Shmona - Hapoel Petah Tikva

Kiryat Shmona's season has been one of the most surprising to come through Israel in years as the tiny club has come out of nowhere to seize first place in the Premier League with just one loss on the season.

American Bryan Gerzicich has been a key to the team's success and he is scheduled to start in central midfield on Wednesday.

Kiryat Shmona's defense has been the primary reason why the club current sits four points clear on the top of the standings. Through 17 games, they have conceded just eight goals. They have won six straight league games and haven't lost since August 27.

Hapoel Petah Tikva on the other hand is in the midst of a terrible season. The club was docked nine points to start the year and they are currently in last place by five points. Despite their struggles, Petah Tikva will be entering into the game on a high note after defeating Maccabi Haifa 3-1 over the weekend.

For the game, Hapoel Petah Tikva are not reporting any injuries at this time.

Kiryat Shmona will be without Zambian midfielder William Njobvu who will be out six weeks following an injury he suffered over the weekend.

Maccabi Petah Tikva - Maccabi Netanya

Maccabi Netanya are in the middle of a difficult stretch and have not won a Premier League game in their last five. During that time they have tumbled to 10th place.

They will now be looking to reverse that trend when they visit 11th place Maccabi Petah Tikva on Wednesday.

American Leo Krupnik is likely to start in central defense for Maccabi Netanya.

In their previous game against league leaders Hapoel Kiryat Shmona, Maccabi Netanya were playing the game even until Krupnik sent a ball into his own goal in what would be the deciding point in a 1-0 loss.

Maccabi Petah Tikva have looked impressive in their last two games. Over the weekend they drew Hapoel Haifa over the weekend and in the game before, they defeated a strong Hapoel Tel Aviv at home.

Neither team are reporting any injuries at this time.

Notes

Ryan Adeleye will hope to see playing time for Hapoel Be'er Sheva when they host seventh place Hapoel Acre.
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