August 30, 2022 4 min read
This season, those sides in continental competition must cram their group fixtures into nine weeks. Thus until early November, excepting the international break in September, it will be usual for many clubs to have a midweek-weekend schedule. In this case, the Premier League will mimic the rhythms of the Championship.
Both QPR and Hull City go into their Championship game having won 3-2 this weekend; Rangers away at Watford, who had a goal disallowed for what would have been 3-3, and Hull at home to Coventry thanks to a hat-trick from their new Colombian signing Oscar Estupiñan. For one season back in 2014/15, this was a Premier League fixture thanks to both clubs having benevolent owners; now both sides look to consolidate their place in the second tier, perhaps pushing for promotion.
The last time both Birmingham City and Norwich City, who meet at St Andrew’s on Tuesday, played each other in the top tier was in 1984. The following season, they needed three replays to separate them in the third round of the FA Cup, while in 2002 a Norwich side with Rob Green as goalkeeper beat Blues in Cardiff on penalties when only one team could ascend to the Premier League. Perhaps Birmingham fans can drown the memories of 20 years ago with this Dark Berry flavoured vodka.
The big teams enter the Scottish League Cup this week, with easy wins predicted for Rangers over Queen of the South and for Aberdeen over Annan Athletic. There are two all-Premiership ties as the pick of the round: Celtic v Ross County and Hearts v Kilmarnock.
The pick of the midweek Premier League fixtures sees a resurgent Liverpool, fresh from knocking nine past Bournemouth, welcome Newcastle United to Anfield on Wednesday. Crystal Palace host Brentford, Everton go to Leeds and Brighton travel up to Fulham, all on Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, two teams line up against each other who were part of the inaugural Premier League season of 1992/93. Both Manchester City and Nottingham Forest now have far more international line-ups 30 years on. City have moved from Tony Coton to Ederson, Niall Quinn to Erling Haaland and the youth products Ian Brightwell and David White to expensive foreign acquisitions like Ruben Dias and Julian Alvarez, although at the weekend youngster Cole Palmer joined Phil Foden on the field of play. City fans can toast their fine line of academy talent with one of six bottles of vodka, gin or, as you can see here, champagne.
Forest have traded Scot Gemmill, Roy Keane and Toddy Orlygsson – players from Scotland, Ireland and Iceland respectively – for thoses from Nigeria (Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis) and France, although none of the trio of Giulian Biancone, Loic Mbe Soh and Moussa Niakhaté played at all against Tottenham on Sunday. Both Arsenal and Aston Villa had overseas managers – ‘the Professor’ Arsene Wenger and Doctor Josef Venglos – before it was fashionable to do so in the Premier League. West Ham United and Tottenham both enjoyed the services of Romanian winger Ilie Dumitrescu and, of course, cockney manager Harry Redknapp.
The weekend fixtures include two enormous derby matches, one in Liverpool and one in Glasgow, which kick off at the same time on Saturday lunchtime. Following in their wake are Spurs v Fulham, Nottingham Forest v Bournemouth, Brentford v Leeds, Newcastle v Crystal Palace and Aston Villa v Manchester City. In a game which was originally scheduled for Sunday, West Ham go to Stamford Bridge where there is a potential clash between England internationals and good friends Declan Rice and Mason Mount. This will give fans of many of those clubs an opportunity to browse the drinks cabinet at Bohemian Brands. Leeds fans, for instance, have a vodka and a gin available for their delectation.
After the Rangers v Celtic game, Kilmarnock play their second game in Edinburgh in four days, this time a league game at Hibernian. Hearts go to Livingston and Aberdeen head across to Inverness to meet Ross County. Millwall and QPR both face Welsh opponents, the former welcoming Cardiff City and the latter off to Swansea City.
On Sunday afternoon, the Amex Stadium is the stage for Brighton v Leicester City. Although it is no longer the definitive fixture of the league season, the soap opera between Manchester United and Arsenal is still alive and well and all eyes will be on Old Trafford. The next night, the Tees-Wear derby takes place, but more on Middlesbrough v Sunderland on Wednesday when we invite you to Charge Your Glass to football in the North-East.