OLIM FOOTBALLSaturday evening sees the latest round of action in the Sport Direct Olim League, which includes a Tel Aviv derby and a clash of the top-two, writes Danny Newman.

INTER TEL AVIV (4th) vs ENGLAND FC (3rd)
Inter go into this game on the back of 3 straight wins, as they continue their march up the table.

England FC for their part, got back to winning ways with a very tight win over Modi’in last week, to climb back into the top three. This should be a fierce Tel Aviv derby, with new boys Inter having plundered two of England’s stars from last year, in Omri Elani and Sama Sank.

If either side is going to challenge for the title, they will need to take all three points to try and close the gap on leaders Ra’anana. England FC will be without Motti Colman, as he is away, but will hope that their other big game players turn up, in what should be very close game.

Leading Scorers:
Inter: Mike Langer & Emanuel Scholtz (both 3 goals).
England FC: Gaby Balulu (6)

Dangermen:
Martin Orson (Inter)
Nick Plotneck (England FC)

Last 3 games:
Inter – WWW
England FC – LLW

Prediction:
Inter Tel Aviv 1 v England FC 2

Jaffa (6th) vs ASHDOD (7th)
Jaffa have had a bit of a stop start season so far, winning one, losing one, winning one, losing one. If that sequence is to continue, then they are due another win.

Ashdod have missed star striker Shlomi Toubol, who is yet to feature this season, and are currently sitting in the bottom three of the table. On their day, they are capable of beating anyone. Last week was a first, when they failed to find the net, losing to Inter 3-0.

Last season, both sides won their respective home fixtures, with Sam Silverberg the hat-trick hero as Jaffa won 4-2. Despite the talented players that David Ohayon has at his disposal, one feels that Ashdod are a little short of the finished product, and that Jaffa’s home advantage may well be a telling factor.

Leading Scorers:
Jaffa: Stephen Caffrey, Rani Madmon & Josh Bar (all 3 goals)
Ashdod: Shmouel Darmon (6)

Dangermen:
Daniel Berkeley (Jaffa)
Jonathan Smadja (Ashdod);

Last 3 games:
Jaffa – LWL
Ashdod – LWL

Prediction:
Jaffa 3 v Ashdod 2

MODI’IN (8th) vs JERUSALEM (5th)
Despite Modi’in yet to register their first points of the season, they are improving with each game and went very close, losing by a solitary goal to a star studded England FC last week.

Jerusalem became the first side this season to take points off run away leaders Ra’anana, however, with a few key players out, will have to test out the depth of their squad if they are to keep the pressure on the sides at the top.

Games between these two are always keenly contested, and historically, Jerusalem have always got the better. However, Modi’in’s run has to end sometime soon, and it would be a surprise if Jerusalem would repeat the 5-1 victory they registered here last year.

Despite the absentees, Jerusalem should have enough to see them over the line, but expect this to be a tight game.

Leading Scorers:
Modi’in: 4 players on 1.
Jerusalem: Zack Lewis (6)

Dangermen:
Omri Encauou (Modi’in)
Gav Cohen (Jerusalem)

Last 3 games:
Modi’in – LLL
Jerusalem – WWD

Prediction:
Modi’in 1 v Jerusalem 3

REAL ATHLETICO JERUSALEM (2nd) vs RA’ANANA (1st)
League leaders Ra’anana return to the capital for a second consecutive week, and for the second time in a row they play the team currently lying one place behind them.

Real Athletico has slipped under the raider after being mauled by their local rivals Jerusalem, and are yet to concede in the two games since that defeat. With other teams taking points off each other, they find themselves just four points behind pacesetters Ra’anana, with a game in hand.

Despite dropping their first points of the campaign last week, Ra’anana put in a formidable performance, and should they maintain that high intensity, Real Athletico will have to find yet another gear, just to keep pace with the game.

Ra’anana will hope that the young Gavriel Kanichowsky will be back to partner the league’s top marksman – Aviad Ben Meir. If that is the case, Real Athletico’s keeper could be in for a busy day.

Leading Scorers:
Real Athletico Jerusalem: Meni Duek (6)
Ra’anana: Aviad Ben Meir (11)

Dangermen:
Jacky Duek (Real Athletico Jerusalem)
Josh Lipman (Ra’anana)

Last 3 games:
Real Athletico Jerusalem – LWW
Ra’anana – WWD

Prediction:
Real Athletico Jerusalem 1 v Ra’anana 4