The traditional time of derbies does get a little spoilt by local rivals being stuck in leagues above or below each other. Fortunately the Championship has an absolute cracker this weekend in Edinburgh. The 19 points between them in the league will matter not a jot as all eyes will be on this battle – though there are a few other games well worth a look too.
Match of the Day
Heart of Midlothian v Hibernian
League leaders Hearts took thousands to Livingston and were rewarded with a narrow 1-0 win last time out whilst the Hibees recorded a 4-0 win against Rangers. Nobody is fooled that the Hibees’ win last weekend means that they will now run on and take second place but there should be no doubt that is was massive. The reality in terms of injuries and suspensions is that it doesn’t matter who takes the field there shall be 22 committed and passionate players ready to play their hearts (and Hibs) out. For me, I think this shall be the one place we can expect Hearts to slip up. Derbies are nightmares for teams that are trying to keep up a momentum. They would probably rather have an away game at Kirkcaldy or Cowdenbeath but also it is the type of game their players relish. A full stadium, passion beyond the turnstiles and bragging rights for weeks to come – who can resist? I do think that Hibs’ win last weekend will act as a spur and could see the men in green halt the maroon steamroller in today’s early kick off.
Rangers v Dumbarton has Kenny McDowall leading his troops out again, hoping for a better weekend than last time they took the field. Can it get any worse? Now that Lewis McLeod is away – yes it can. I expect that Dumbarton will provide a scare but Rangers shall just get through it. Queen of the South V Livingston has the Doonhamers of the back of a draw at Alloa entertaining a managerless Livingston side that lost to the Jambos. I expect that the Dumfries side shall get through with a win.
Falkirk v Alloa Athletic has a Bairns side that lost last weekend against Raith Rovers whilst the Wasps drew with Queen of the South. Peter Houston will be hoping that his team do not show why they have targeted four new signings in the window and register a win – I think they might just struggle. Cowdenbeath v Raith Rovers has the team that lost to Dumbarton last Saturday hosting the team that beat Falkirk away. Jimmy Nichol’s side need the points and though only one place below their visitors are a massive seven points behind. It is last week’s away win for Raith that makes me believe that another weekend on the road, against their other local rivals may see Grant Murray’s win today.