Shin Hour, Judgment Day: The 20/21 season reaches its peak

Boiling point

Maccabi Haifa fans (graphics: Carolina Arichman)

After more than a year with empty stands and an atmosphere of training games, Israeli football fans returned to the stands just in time. After the run cycle (1,500), the crowd will increase (5,000) in the 26th, final round of the regular season, just before the national team break and the playoffs that will come immediately afterwards. They are back excited, encouraged, even reading contempt, and now they will accompany their teams on the doomsday of the 2020/21 season, when the league will be split into two parts, and boiled over.

Three places in the top playoffs are guaranteed, five teams will fight for the remaining three places in the coveted top six. The five battles will start tomorrow (Saturday) at 19:15, for the last 90 minutes, at least 100 degrees. Good seasons will be defined as a failure if the results do not connect to any of them on the big Saturday, mediocre seasons can become successful on the edge of a goal, maybe even in goal difference. The drama will only grow as the evening progresses, with eyes and ears turned to all the plots simultaneously. We haven’t had a cycle like this in a very long time and what fun for the lucky ones who will get to sit in the stands to watch this madness.

Last chance

Netanya players disappointed (Graphics: Carolina Arichman)Netanya players disappointed (Graphics: Carolina Arichman)

Maccabi Petah Tikva may have thought too early that it secured its place in the top playoffs, but unlike MS Ashdod, its top team regularly from the start of the season, and now Guy Luzon’s team needs a draw at least against Bnei Sakhnin to be calm in its place. Behind her, Urbani Kiryat Shmona, which started the season excellently, has weakened greatly and recently returned to the top with 7 points in the last four rounds. It will have to beat Hapoel Kfar Saba in order to stay in its position, otherwise – it may find itself in underground struggles until the end of the season.

In general, the qualifiers for the top playoffs, who are with their backs to the wall, first of all promise to stay, beyond what they will or will not have to sell later, with Hapoel Haifa and Betar Jerusalem – already talking behind the scenes about replacing coaches Haim Sylves, Slobodan Dapich and Shai Breda – are two or three games away from the red line, can get tangled up after not really impressing during the regular season and can not really be calm in their goal to ensure the stay as soon as possible.They have of course a huge gap in staff qualities, but one that is not really expressed until so.

Raymond Atwald (Radad Jabara)Raymond Atwald (Radad Jabara)

Maccabi Netanya – which has already done above and beyond with its young and talented staff, plus the significant veterans – could have already secured its place in the top six last week, but lost to Hapoel Hadera and now must beat Maccabi Haifa by Sami Ofer, although a draw could also serve it as the team with the difference The best goals among those fighting for the last tickets (7+).

Last in the ranking at the moment are Hapoel Beer Sheva and Betar Jerusalem – for them the feeling of failure will be the greatest if they do not qualify, while in the capital they have already internalized that only a miracle will save them this season. And she also prays that Maccabi Netanya and KS will not win, when her draw against ex Yossi Aboksis may also be enough. Betar must win against Ashdod, which knocked it out of the state cup only this week, and even then it must Netanya lose in Haifa or KS lose to KPS , And Shin Bet will not defeat Bnei Yehuda.

Danger of persecution

Shtakos (Graphics: Carolina Erichman)Shtakos (Graphics: Carolina Erichman)

And from the five teams fighting for the top playoff to the five teams that are currently fighting against relegation and threatening to attract the disappointed playoff fighters. “The bottom is chasing us,” he said Nir Klinger After the 1-0 win over Sakhnin, a moment after Hapoel Tel Aviv thought they could relax a bit after an impressive recovery campaign by all accounts. After all those who raise their heads a little, even for a moment.

On Saturday, Sakhnin, Kfar Saba and Bnei Yehuda will have one last chance to improve positions, or at least the points balance, before the hot playoffs, which too, like the battle for the top playoffs, will probably be decided at the last minute with a stormy, particularly dramatic and nerve-wracking photo finish. And Hapoel Haifa will try to do this one at the expense of the other on Monday.

just on time

Noble and Neta Lavie Celebrate (Graphics: Carolina Arichman)Noble and Neta Lavie Celebrate (Graphics: Carolina Arichman)

The race for the championship continues, with the gap remaining on only one point between the leading Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa, which is preparing for the playoffs where it will try to turn the bowl back on its head. As far as the Greens are concerned, they reach money time just in time. Omar Atzili continues to flourish, leading the team To 0: 2 over Bnei Yehuda and scored a double in the state cup, in an ability reminiscent of his big days in his career.

Nikita Rokavica has returned to fitness and although he still needs to take down a lot of rust, the Australian is a tremendous addition of strength to Barak Bachar’s squad, who would have done very well without him with the significant contribution of Goodsway Donio and the rest of his players. Dolev Haziza, who also returned to the squad, proved that he had already returned to his good ability and was one of the outstanding players against Bnei Yehuda, and even returned to the Israeli national team.

Dor Peretz (Radad Jabara)Dor Peretz (Radad Jabara)

In Maccabi Tel Aviv, which completed 10 consecutive victories and scored 40 points out of 42 possible (!), The situation is even more respectable than it looks on the outside. The crazy balance signed by the giant Patrick Van Leven was recorded without Jonathan Cohen and Alexander Peshich last month, without Dan Glazer , In the last two weeks, and in the last week also without Andre Geralds and Enrique Seborit, but despite their great importance in Kiryat Shalom – no one talks about it.

Dor Peretz in the season of “Player of the Season” leads the Yellows in the crazy run, Eyal Golsa slightly behind him (only due to the balance of goals and assists), Itai Schechter and Avi Rikan show how significant their experience is in these critical points of the season, Sharan Yeni only upgraded To the position of back contact as needed and as the list of injured and missing of the champion of the last two years lengthens – so does its staff prove how deep and quality it is.

Despite the many shortcomings, the yellow champion will reach the playoffs at the height of her power, and hopefully also with a full squad. Until then, the team of Van Leven and Maccabi Haifa will try to give one last push before the national team break, of course to finish in first place, which will give some of them a significant advantage ahead of the decisive games of the season.