Our football match prediction:
Maccabi Tel Aviv faced no difficulties in the double-header against Reykjavik, but Panionios are likely to pose a much bigger threat for Johan Cruijff’s troops than their previous rivals. Maccabi have yet to kick off the new Ligat Ha’al campaign, but they have already played four games in the Europa League and, no doubt, they are capable of matching the Greek outfit in Thursday’s football clash. The Israeli side are tough to beat at home and we predict that the hosts will score at least one goal in the first leg. Panionios, on the other hand, rolled over Gorica in the second qualifying round and considering that both teams have been scoring goals for fun of late, a high-scoring affair appears on the horizon. The two teams seem to be evenly matched at the moment and, taking everything into account, there is every chance they will play out a draw in Tel Aviv.
Highlighted Player (Eitan Tibi):
Eitan Tibi is a profesional footballer who plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Born in Jerusalem on 16 November, 1987, Tibi started his senior career at his hometown club Beitar Jerusalem. After ending his spell with Beitar in 2010 he moved to Charleroi and it has to be noted that the made nine league appearances for the Belgium outfit in the 2010/2011 season. The Israeli defender then returned to his homeland, signing a contract with Ironi Kiryat Shmona, but he spent no more than one season at the club. In the summer of 2012 he signed a three-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv and he has been playing for the club ever since. His main position is centre back, but he is capable of playing as a left back as well. In 2012 Eitan Tibi made his Israel debut against Czech Republic and he has established himself as a first-team regular. He started the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Italy, but Israel suffered a 3-1 loss to Giampiero Ventura’s troops in their opener.
Highlighted Team (Maccabi Tel Aviv):
Maccabi Tel Aviv are the oldest and probably the biggest clubs in Israel. The club was founded in 1906 and they have been playing an important role in the Israeli League ever since. In 2015 Maccabi won their 21st trophy in the national championship and the same season they clinched their 23rd Israeli Cup title. The club’s fiercest rivals are Hapoel Tel-Aviv and they welcome their opponents at Netanya Stadium. The capacity of the venue is 13 610. The likes of Beitar Jerusalem Hapoel Be’er Sheva and Maccabi Haifa are considered Maccabi Tel Aviv’s bitter rivals as well. In 1969 the club won the AFC Champions League and they repeated the success two years later, beating Aliyat Al-Shorta in the final. The likes of Jordi Cruyff, Paulo Sousa, Rade Prica, Moanes Dabour and Vincent Enyeama are the high-profile footballers who were part of the team in the past. The colour of Maccabi’s home kit is yellow and blue.