Barry Johnston says Linfield too far ahead in title race

Cliftonville player Barry Johnston admits there appears to be little prospect of Premiership leaders Linfield being caught.

The Blues, chasing a sixth double in seven seasons, are 12 points clear with just six matches left.

On Saturday Linfield are away to Lisburn Distillery while Cliftonville travel to Donegal Celtic.

"We may be a bit too far behind Linfield but we will give it a go over our last few games," said Johnston.

"But I think, if you had offered us second place at the start of the season, we would have taken it."

Cliftonville moved level on points with Portadown last weekend thanks to a 4-3 home win over Glenavon.

Portadown's defeat by Carrick Rangers seems to have ended any lingering hopes Ronnie McFall had of marking his 25 years as manager with a fifth Gibson Park triumph.

For Linfield it is looking like championship title number 51, given the gap they have established over the chasing pack.

David Jeffrey's will be hot favourites to make it four league wins on the bounce as they face Distillery, although the last time the sides met it was a 1-1 draw at Windsor Park.

Crusaders, without suspended strikers Timmy Adamson and David Rainey, take on bottom-placed Carrick Rangers at Seaview.

Carrick, boosted by that 3-1 win over Portadown, could be without Paul Heatley because of injury.

Kyle Owens and Ian West definitely sit out the match as they are on loan at Carrick from the Crues.

Dungannon Swifts and Glenavon go to head-to-head in the relegation scrap at Stangmore Park while Portadown play Coleraine in a game kicking-off at 1720 BST.

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