August 15, 2022 4 min read
The fixture computer has thrown up some Bohemian Brands derbies, which take place between teams who have branded drinks available as gifts. Two of them are North of the border, as Edinburgh clubs play Glasgow clubs.
Saturday lunchtime’s match is another Fringe-worthy piece of entertainment down in Leith, as Hibernian host Rangers. Sunday afternoon sees Hearts travel to Celtic. The last time either side from Edinburgh won the top division in Scotland was in 1959/60 when Hearts were champions for the second time in three seasons. Hibs themselves won three titles in five postwar years in the early 1950s, with Lawrie Reilly scoring 79 goals across three of those seasons. Reilly has played more time for the Hibees than anyone else, while only three men (Dalglish, Law and Gallacher) have more goals than he has for Scotland.
Reilly’s Hibs and his old foes Rangers enjoyed a fine rivalry in his era. Both sides finished first and second twice each between 1949/50 and 1952/53 in what was called Division A as Scottish football restarted after the Second World War. In the last 70 years, Rangers have moved to 55 titles while Celtic have 52. There are drinks on offer so both sets of fans can celebrate their recent titles: Gers fans have this £55 champagne, while Bhoys have both a £50 Brut and a fine Apple Vodka for their delectation.
West Ham and Brighton, two solid top-tier teams, play on Sunday afternoon. Under their British managers David Moyes and Graham Potter, they had impressive seasons last year, both finishing in the top half; West Ham were seventh, Brighton ninth. Declan Rice remains the fulcrum of the home side’s team, while the hard head of Lewis Dunk is always ready to clear any aerial balls into the Brighton penalty area. He will be up against West Ham’s new Italian signing Gianluca Scamacca who, with Italy not involved in this winter’s World Cup, will be committed to proving himself at his new team, looking to get on the end of any balls from Jarrod Bowen, Rice’s England team-mate. West Ham fans can try any of the five drinks on offer courtesy of Bohemian Brands, including this Blue Raspberry vodka.
Also on Sunday, Leeds play Chelsea in a re-run of the famous 1970 FA Cup final. You can read about their rivalry in this piece which was written from last season.
Newcastle and Man City have the 4.30pm kick-off in a game which finished 4-0 to the away side last season at St James’ Park. The reverse fixture at the Etihad was even worse for the Magpies, who conceded five times. Back in January 2019, however, Newcastle upset the form book as they won 2-1 in front of the home crowd; of the front six who started for City, only Kevin de Bruyne remains at the club.
Everton welcome Nottingham Forest and Spurs host Wolves, both on Saturday. Crystal Palace have two matches this week, going to Liverpool on Monday night and hosting Aston Villa on Saturday. Steven Gerrard and Patrick Vieira both captained their clubs to cup glory in the 2000s and today the pair seek to imprint their vision onto their new clubs. Arsenal, Vieira’s old side, travel down to the South coast to play Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.
Both Stoke City and Sunderland, who also meet on Saturday afternoon, are attempting to get back in the top tier. The Potters have plenty of experience in their side, including Phil Jagielka, Sam Clucas and Dwight Gayle, whom they hope will get the goals Stoke need to challenge for promotion. The fixture also throws up an interesting clash between two former starlets, Lewis Baker of Stoke and Patrick Roberts of Sunderland, who this year ended their long associations with Chelsea and Manchester City, fed up of perennially being loaned out. Sunderland have also secured Everton’s Ellis Simms, who scored twice in their 3-2 win against Bristol City.
Troy Deeney will be the focus at St Andrew’s on Tuesday night as Watford, the club he captained for seven seasons, go up the M1. In 2013, Deeney scored the only goal on the opening day of the 2013/14 in the corresponding fixture, the first of 25 goals in that season. Watford were managed on that day by future Blues boss Gianfranco Zola, since when both clubs have changed managers almost every season. Birmingham have settled on another former Watford captain, John Eustace, after rattling through the likes of Gary Rowett, Harry Redknapp, Garry Monk, Aitor Karanka, Lee Bowyer and Pep Clotet.
Watford’s current boss Rob Edwards was employed after the season of three managers and a relegation: unlike Roy Hodgson, Claudio Ranieri and Xisco Muñoz, Edwards hopes he will last the full season in the dugout, although he has just lost his star striker Emmanuel Dennis to Nottingham Forest. Depending on the result Blues fans may wish to celebrate or drown their sorrows with this bottle of vodka which has a dark berry flavour.