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Another compelling Premiership title race is on the cards

I've already touched on Linfield and the difficulties they face this season so it's only fair to put their rivals under the microscope. I dropped into the launch of the Danske Bank Premiership at Stormont and it was refreshing to hear the managers break from tradition at parliament buildings by answering the question.

No-one expected Joe Gormley to make an impressive 30-minute speech on the flags issue but then again, football is full of surprises.

In another unusual occurrence at Stormont, the bosses were in total agreement over the future – well, with regard to the title race anyway.

The consensus was that arguably the most compelling race for the Gibson Cup is ahead of us and it's hard to disagree with that conclusion when you recognise that Linfield are rebuilding and champions Cliftonville are without Liam Boyce.

Many fans genuinely believe that any one of FIVE teams could finish top.

Take your pick from the Reds, Linfield, Crusaders, Portadown or Glenavon.

There is real strength in depth in mid-Ulster and those sides can be competitive in the top four. However, I still feel the two north-Belfast sides are the ones to beat.

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Crusaders should be lifted by all the changes at Windsor and the departure from Solitude of Boyce. In my eyes Cliftonville still boast the best defence – Johnny Flynn is a classy addition – and midfield.

We have a title race that is difficult to predict and that's what makes it compelling viewing.

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