So, which of the Israelis will pack a punch on Boxing Day?

By Danny Caro, December 22, 2010
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It has been a frustrating season for Israelis in the Premier League for one reason or another so here's a quick rough guide for anyone hoping to see the top Israeli imports in action on Boxing Day. Chelsea's Yossi Benayoun continues his recuperation after tearing his Achilles tendon. Tamir Cohen played the last ten minutes of Bolton's 1-0 defeat against Sunderland but he is unlikely to feature in Saturday's clash at home to West Brom after flying home to visit his father in a Tel Aviv hospital.

There is a chance that Dekel Keinan, the Blackpool midfielder, could return for the clash against Liverpool.

Manchester City new boy Gai Assulin did not feature in Monday's match against Everton and it appears unlikely that he'll be involved for the trip up to Newcastle.

But once again, all eyes will be on the Hammers with Tal Ben Haim looking to keep Avram Grant in a job as they travel to Craven Cottage for the derby against Fulham. Ben Haim has done well in recent games but his future remains unclear with Portsmouth manager Steve Cotterill undecided on the future of the Israeli defender who is set to return to Fratton Park when his loan deal ends in just over a week. The word is that Cotterill is keen to keep hold of Ben Haim who has featured in nine games under Grant, but financial restrictions could scupper a return.

Here are my five to watch out for in 2011.

● Gai Assulin. It's clear that Manchester City need a creative spark to help unlock defences. They have scored fewer goals than leaders Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea and I expect manager Roberto Mancini to throw the man dubbed 'the new Messi' in at the deep end sooner rather than later. He could debut in the FA Cup third round tie at Leicester City.

● Richard Goodman. Life has been anything but lonely for the long-distance runner who has hardly put a foot wrong in 2010. It's clear to me that he is destined for the top although the 2012 Olympics will come too soon.

● Ellie Edwards. A contender for the JC Daniel Sacks Award for Outstanding Young Athletics Achievement, Ellie had a one-in-a-lifetime experience earlier this year when she received coaching tips from sprint legends Tyson Gay, Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Kim Collins, Linford Christie and Felix Sanchez. If she continues the way she is going, young Ellie will be a queen of the track for years to come.

● Marc Brenner. Having recently received the Outstanding Achievement award from the Essex Golf Union, Brenner, 14, is the junior captain of Abridge and has won various matches for the County, including coming in second place in an U18 County Squad Championship. Having turned heads at the JCC Maccabi Games in Denver last summer, all eyes will be on the pint-sized star at the European Maccabi Games in Vienna.

● Josh Hershman. The winger has been a revelation for Brady Maccabi in the opening months of the JC MSFL season. He's also a dab-hand at cricket, a product of Haberdasher's Aske's conveyor belt of sporting success stories.

    Last updated: 2:21pm, December 22 2010