Derby Duel: Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. Versus Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C
The Eve of the Long-Awaited Derby
On the eve of Yom Kippur, Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. is putting the finishing touches to its preparations for the anticipated derby. With Coach Michael Valkanis at the helm, the team has a nearly complete squad, save for Almog Kanzapolsky who was sent off in the last match against Hapoel Be’er Sheva.
Valkanis has been deliberating on his lineup in recent days. It is expected that he will begin with the offensive trio of Mavis Tchibota, Hisham Layous, and Alon Turgeman, with Omri Altman playing behind them. The defensive midfielders will likely be Jose Rodriguez and Dan Einbinder.
The Quest for Derby Victory
The spotlight for Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C., apart from safety issues, a recent penalty, and the relocation of fans from gates 4-5 to gate 8, is the anticipation of a derby win. The team has not tasted victory in a derby for 9 and a half years, a period during which their rivals, Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C., have won championships and numerous derbies.
A club insider revealed, “We need to understand what happened here and what responsibility we have. We now have 22-year-old army veterans who saw their last derby victory before their bar mitzvah. We have 12-year-olds who became adults and for nearly 10 years they haven’t experienced a derby victory”. He highlighted that a derby win is worth more than a championship and it’s not just another game or another derby.
Preparing for the Battle
The players are acutely aware of the expectations and the magnitude of the responsibility they carry. They are eager to provide a moment of happiness to the fans after almost a decade. As one club member put it, “The fans sing ‘The time has come, says my mother’ – and indeed the time has come.”
Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C.’s Ticket Collection
In a twist of events, Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C. has decided to collect the 2,300 tickets allocated to them by Hapoel Tel Aviv for the derby. The club had initially declined to collect the tickets due to concerns about potential confrontations between the two rival fan bases. However, a Supreme Court ruling appears to have influenced the club’s change of heart. The specifics of the ruling are yet to be disclosed, but it seems to have provided enough grounds for Maccabi Tel Aviv to reconsider their initial stance.
Significance of the Derby Match
The derby, a match between two rival teams from the same city or region, is always a high-stakes game. Given the recent struggles of Maccabi Tel Aviv, the upcoming derby against Hapoel Tel Aviv holds particular significance. A win in this match could not only boost the morale of the players and fans but also help the club break its losing streak.
The collection of tickets by Maccabi Tel Aviv for the upcoming derby against Hapoel Tel Aviv signifies more than just a change in decision. It’s a shift in the dynamics of Israeli football, a step towards fan inclusion, and a potential turning point for Maccabi Tel Aviv. The upcoming derby, therefore, is not just a game but a significant event in the Israeli football landscape.
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