Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Buoyed by a 2-0 win over Inter, Hapoel Be’er Sheva square off against Southampton in their second group game in the 2016/2017 Europa League campaign. The Israeli outfit proved their worth in the triumph over the Nerazzurri, but beating the star-studded Premier League team is easier said than done. The hosts are likely to adopt a cautious approach in Thursday’s football match and, no doubt, they will be more than happy with one point from the game. Seeing that Southampton outplayed Sparta Prague in their opener, the Saints will be satisfied with one point from the match as well. Charlie Austin scored a brace against Sparta, meaning that the opposition defenders should have the former QPR attacker at bay on Thursday evening. Taking everything into account, Southampton and Hapoel, who face each other for the first time ever, should share the spoils at Yaakov Turner Toto Stadium.
Highlighted Player (Fraser Forster):
Originating from Hexham, Fraser Forster is an English goalkeeper who spent his early career at Newcastle United, but surprisingly did not make a single Premier League appearance during the seven years at St James’ Park. Forster first showed promise during the loan spell with Norwich City, but it was the stint with Celtic that earned him wide acclaim and saw him become an England international.
After spending four years at Parkhead, the highly rated goalkeeper returned to the Premier League to sign for Southampton and he has since acted as club’s number one goalkeeper. Forster has been a member of the England national team since 2013, usually acting as a back up for Joe Hart, making a handful of appearances in international friendlies.
Forster was in the Three Lions squad at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016, and with quite a few of good years in front of him, the towering goalkeeper should get the opportunity to win few more England caps before he retires from football.
Highlighted Team (Hapoel Beer Sheva):
Hapoel Be'er Sheva are an Israeli football club based in Beersheba. The club was founded in 1949 and they play their home games at Turner Stadium. The capacity of the stadium is 16 126 and it was opened in September, 2015.
Hapoel wear red shirts and white shorts when playing on home soil and they play in blue shirts and black shorts on the travels. The club played their first game against Mefalsim and they defeated their opponents 5-4. Back then no more than five teams competed in the Israeli league and it has to be noted that the likes of Hapoel Rishon LeZion, Hapoel Kfar Saba and Hapoel Ramat Gan were other teams that participated in the league.
In 1975 Hapoel Be’er Sheva won their first Israeli Premier League trophy, with the team finishing the season three points clear of Maccabi Netanya. In the 2015/2016 season they won their third domestic trophy, leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv three points clear of them in the standings. Shalon Avitan is one of the most notable footballers who played for the club.