Spotlight: Maccabi Haifa v Norwich City

Ex-Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun is now back with Maccabi Haifa. Picture: AP Photo/Lefteris Pita

Ex-Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun is now back with Maccabi Haifa. Picture: AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis - Credit: AP

Norwich City open up their two-date tour on Monday evening against Maccabi Haifa in the Austria town of Kufstein. (KO 6.30pm CET).

The Greens are one of the marquee names in Israeli football, becoming the first club from Israel to qualify for the group stages of the Uefa Champions League, but finished fifth in their domestic league last season, 20 points behind Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

Founded in 1913, Haifa have won the Israeli title 10 times since 1984, along with four five Israeli Cups and they enjoyed a period of dominance in the early 1990s, winning two titles and three cups.

Haifa's most recognisable player is the former West Ham, Liverpool and Chelsea schemer Yossi Benayoun. The 35-year-old has now returned to the club he helped win two Israeli titles before departing initially for Spain and then arriving in English club football, where he was part of the Chelsea squad that won the Uefa Europa League in 2012/13.

Itay Shechter spearheads their attack and spent a brief loan spell in the Premier League at Swansea in the 2012/13 season, where he scored once in 18 appearances. Shechter was an unused substitute in the Swans' League Cup win over Bradford in 2013.

Manager Ronny Levy is back at the club for his second spell in charge after signing a three-year deal in May of this year. Levy is a former Israeli international midfielder. Haifa are basing themselves in the Austrian town of Leogang, near Salzburg, and beat Lokomotiv Tashkent 2-0 on Saturday.

City's first game takes place at the Kufstein-Arena, home of FC Kufstein, who play in the third tier of Austrian football. The stadium has a capacity of 4,500.

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