Haroldeans were dealt a blow ahead of the new JC MJSL season after star striker Josh Rubin joined rivals Manchester Maccabi 1st.
The league got under way this week and it looks set to be a close race this season. Assuming they find a replacement for Rubin, the Liverpudlians will still be the team to beat while Manchester Maccabi 2nd, who missed out by a single point last year, remain strong contenders.
Republic of Mancunia look a good outside bet as they picked up their first cup trophy last season and have the experience of beating the best teams last time round.
Westdene 1st can never be under estimated, and if they can find some early consistency, they also could also challenge come May. Both student teams always start the season in late September and play catch up and tend to get better as the season progresses.
Oakhill Lions will also pose a powerful threat to the Haroldeans' crown after two stunning Cup Final wins at the end of last season. However, they will need to fill the void left by Faithfold-bound Alex Kaye, who won MJSL Player of the Year.
Hyde Park Rovers is the new name for the Leeds based team under new management. Manchester Maccabi 3rd, Crumpsall, Sporting and Westdene 2nd complete the division and could challenge for a Cup Final appearances but more likely in the Tony Cohen Cup.
The JC North Charity Shield takes pride of place on Sunday with Haroldeans coming up against South Manchester Maccabi 2nd at Frederick Road in Salford.