04 October 2022
Tomorrow evening, Juventus will take to the field at the Allianz Stadium against Maccabi Haifa for Matchday Three of the Champions League, with the aim of achieving their first UCL victory of the season. Before the game, we take a close look at our Israeli opposition.
ISRAELI PREMIER LEAGUE FORM
After six rounds of the championship, Maccabi Haifa are first in the league standings with 15 points, 12 goals scored and six conceded. The team is coached by Barak Bakhar - who has led Maccabi to the title for the last two-consecutive seasons - and are fresh from a 2-0 win in the big match against Maccabi Tel Aviv, with the goals coming in the final minutes from a Dean David brace. The performances of this first half of the season have seen the green and black outfit win all of their matches in Israel except one - on 18th September against Hapoel Jerusalem, who won 3-0. The top scorer in the league so far is Maccabi winger, Omer Atzili, who six goals in as many games.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PATH
In order to reach the UCL group stage, Maccabi had to overcome three qualifying rounds: At the end of July they eliminated Olympiacos, drawing 1-1 at home but then recording a shock 4-0 win on Greek soil. They started as they meant to continue, as Maccabi won by the same scoreline in the first leg of the next round against the Cypriots of Apollon Limassol, who then tried to comeback at home, by winning 2-0 but failed to complete it. Their final hurdle was then Red Star Belgrade which saw a much tenser and tighter affair, with a 3-2 win at home and then a 2-2 draw in Belgrade, with the draw obtained in the 90th minute following an own goal by Milan Pavkov. So far in the Champions League proper, Maccabi have lost both group games, going down 2-0 against Benfica in Lisbon and 1-3 at home against PSG.
Between the league, the Champions League and the Israeli Super Cup (lost on penalties to Hapoel Beer Sheva) Maccabi Haifa have played 15 official matches. Their overall top scorer is Omer Atzili with seven goals, followed on the podium by Frantzdy Pierrot with six and Tjaronn Chery with five. In total, the team has scored with nine different players, as Tjaronn Chery's goal against Paris Saint-Germain marked Maccabi Haifa's first in the Champions League since November 2002.