April 10, 2022 4 min read
This week sees the Scottish Premiership split into two halves. For fans of English football: imagine if after 38 games of the Premier League season there was a sort of play-off between the top six and the bottom six and after five more games we would find out if Norwich really did get relegated or whether the chasing pack could catch Liverpool and Manchester City.
This is what happens up in Scotland, where each team plays one another three times and after 33 games the league splits into two so that the top six play each other and the bottom six play each other. This season, naturally, Rangers and Celtic are up for the title. You can hear fans of both sides battle it out in the first Bohemian Vodkast here.
After the league game at Tynecastle over the weekend, Hearts confirmed their top-half finish and will play both Glasgow clubs in the next few weeks as they shore up third place and European qualification. So far ahead are Rangers and Celtic at this stage of the season that both have already gone to the Champions League qualifiers. The other three teams above the line of the split are Dundee United, Ross County and, after a last-minute equaliser against Livingston, Motherwell.
Below the line, going down from seventh place, are the unfortunate Livingston, Hibernian, Aberdeen, St Mirren, St Johnstone and Dundee. The Dee only won five of their 33 fixtures, rooting them to the bottom of the table and favourites for relegation. Hibs have a chance to restore some pride against their neighbours and conquerors in the Scottish Cup semi-final this weekend at Hampden Park. You can hear the Vodkast between Hibs fan Euan and Hearts supporter Darren here, and as you listen you are welcome to browse the website for club-branded bottles of alcohol.
South of the border, Chelsea play Crystal Palace on Saturday in the semi-final of the English FA Cup. After their 6-0 demolition at Southampton, Chelsea will be favourites, even more so because Palace superstar Conor Gallagher is unable to play against his parent club. 2022 marks 150 years since the first tournament took place and a couple of books have been issued to commemorate the occasion: The Cup by Richard Whitehead is a selection of photos which mark 100 of the most notable ties; the English FA have produced a book with text from Miguel Delaney which can sit on a coffee table this month and impress any guests. If a Chelsea fan you know needs something to drink while they flick through the pages of the past, you can buy them one of four beverages available from Bohemian Brands.
Sunday afternoon’s second semi-final sees top in the Premier League play second. Liverpool meet Manchester City four days after both clubs try to reach the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League. Both hold advantages going into the second leg of the tie: Manchester City go to Atletico Madrid a goal up, while Liverpool try to get the job done in front of a febrile Anfield crowd with a two-goal lead over Benfica.
In the Premier League, there’s a smaller matchweek than normal with six fixtures. Spurs host Brighton in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off – more on which on Wednesday in the Charge Your Glasses column – while doomed Watford host Brentford looking to prevent a tenth home loss in a row. Arsenal also go to Southampton on Saturday with both sides hoping to forget their defeats the weekend just gone.
Newcastle v Leicester and West Ham v Burnley both take place on Sunday to allow West Ham and Leicester to recover from playing in European competition on Thursday. The Hammers go to Lyon for the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final, having drawn the home leg 1-1, while Leicester head to Eindhoven to play PSV in the last eight of the inaugural Conference League. It’s either team’s tie after a goalless draw at the King Power Stadium; Roma, Marseilles and Feyenoord are all still in contention for that competition.
West Ham’s foes will include Rangers or Braga, RB Leipzig or Atalanta and Eintracht Frankfurt or Barcelona. That is some august company and West Ham fans may well consider placing an order for one of five types of vodka or gin which you can browse at their dedicated page on this site.
The Championship matches all take place on Good Friday and the pick of the day looks to be Luton Town against Nottingham Forest. Last week we asked you to charge your glasses to Forest and Birmingham City as they met one another last weekend, so go have a read in case you missed it.
It would be a seismic victory if Derby County were to get a result at home to Fulham, as they try to grab enough points to stay in the second tier; with four games to go after their hardest home game of the season this Friday, it will be a nail-biter. Brian Clough is connected with the Rams as well as Forest, so Wayne Rooney and his team may draw on the old gaffer in this tough close season.
In any case, Bohemian Brands wish you a happy Easter break.