Welsh Premier League: New Saints the team to beat - Williams
Last updated on .From the section Football
The Welsh Premier League's all-time top scorer Marc Lloyd Williams is tipping champions The New Saints to be the team to beat again.
The season kicks off on Friday with Cefn Druids hosting Aberystwyth and Gap Connah's Quay at Prestatyn.
Champions The New Saints begin their campaign at home to Bangor City and Williams says they will be favourites to win a ninth title.
"They're a full-time outfit and they've got a plastic pitch," Williams said.
"I think now what will aid them better is that Newtown and Airbus have also got 3G pitches.
"It's on grounds like Newtown and Airbus that they have been dropping points in the past.
"They're probably relieved now that they don't have to go to Newtown on Boxing Day and play on a heavy pitch at Latham Park, where it's now going to be a lovely 3G surface.
"I think moving into 3G plays into New Saints' hands."
The New Saints, also Welsh Cup holders, finished 14 points ahead of second-placed Airbus UK Broughton last season with Carmarthen Town third and Bangor fourth.
Williams, who played for Welsh Premier League clubs including Bangor, the Saints, Rhyl and Airbus says are number of clubs ready to challenge at the top of the table.
"Rhyl have strengthened a lot, Airbus will again be a strong outfit," Williams added.
"I suspect that Connah's Quay, with the signings that they've made and the run that they had towards the end of last season, they'll be one of the teams looking to break into the top four."