Title contenders in Seaview clash

Chris Morrow and Michael Gault
Chris Morrow battles with Michael Gault in the Premiership clash in November

David Jeffrey insists Friday's Premiership clash with Crusaders is "not a title decider" but the Linfield boss would love the three points.

"Not by any stretch of the imagination will it decide the title," Jeffrey told BBC Sport ahead of the Seaview clash.

Linfield's one-time 12-point lead has been whittled down to a goal-difference advantage going into Friday's match.

"There are five or six very tight games to go although obviously victory would help us."

Jeffrey added:"There have been so many twists and turns this year that I can't see a victory for either side deciding the outcome of the title but obviously it will have an interesting effect on it."

The Blues boss acknowledges that Crusaders are "very much the form team" after 10 straight wins in the Premiership.

"You have got to give credit to Stephen Baxter and his players.

"Our games against them have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.

"From a 8-1 victory against them at Windsor Park where we played some superb, superb football to going to Seaview and being beaten well by Crusaders who dominated even with 10 men.

"Then we had a game back at Windsor which was very tight but we managed to be successful in the end although all those games are now in the history books.

"At the moment we've got ourselves back into a bit of form, coming into Friday's game on the back of a great result against Portadown but Crusaders have been absolutely magnificent."

Crusaders are without injured David Rainey for the remainder of the season but Stephen Baxter appears to have no other serious fitness concerns.

In Friday's other Premiership games, Cliftonville host Donegal Celtic while Coleraine take on Ballymena United in a derby encounter.

Friday's Carling Irish Premiership fixtures (1945 BST)

Crusaders v Linfield

Cliftonville v Donegal Celtic

Coleraine v Ballymena United

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