Tapes up on Edinburgh’s biggest speedway clash of the year - Liam Rudden

2.. 4.. 6.. 8.. Who do we appreciate? M.O.N.A.R.C.H.S! Monarchs! As a teenager, that terracing chant rang around Powderhall Stadium as the Capital's speedway stars thrilled the masses as they slid sideways in the shale.

Edinburgh Monarchs celebrate another maximum for team captain Sam Masters - Photo: Jack Cupido

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It was a war cry never more heartfelt than when the Mighty Monarchs clashed with their arch-rivals from along the M8, the Glasgow Tigers.

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Even now, nothing beats the sheer passion and excitement of a Scottish Derby and that’s what this weekend will be all about for Monarchs and Tigers fans everywhere.

The rivals first meet on Friday (tonight if you're reading this online, last night if you're reading the print version) at Armadale Stadium, home of the boys in blue and gold, and then in the return match on Sunday at Glasgow’s Ashfield Stadium.

To pinch a popular sports saying, speedway is a funny old game, with no fewer than three ex-Monarchs in the Glasgow line-up a close match is on the cards, with that trio no doubt bent on using their valuable knowledge of their former home track to good effect.

That said, Edinburgh s super seven have been firing on all cylinders recently with big wins both at home and away and without doubt captain Sam Masters is easily the top rider in the league right now.

Backing him up are his fellow heat-leaders Richie Worrall, another top talent and a man who is practically untouchable around Armadale, and Josh Pickering, easily the most exciting rider in British speedway at the moment.

Then there's Kye Thomson, making his British debut this season the Australian is already proving to be a special find with a great future ahead of him.

Completing the current squad, Willie Lawson lends his vast experience to the tail end of the team alongside our up and coming 'rising star', Joe Lawlor, who has already shown a couple of flashes of what he could be capable of achieving in the sport.

So, without a doubt, two of the most important matches of the year lie ahead for Edinburgh over the next three days. Both teams are currently sitting in the top three of the Championship League, Monarchs with a couple of meetings to spare, and the outcome of these Scottish Derbies could prove vital to shaping the way the league unfolds not to mention the bragging rights.

If you’ve never been to a speedway meeting, this is the introduction you’ve been waiting for.

As always, John McGillivray and myself will be in The Tower to bring you all the action live as it happens, onscreen in the stadium and on the stream where we will be joined by Mike Hunter and Graham Muncie in the commentary box.

As capacity returns to normal at Armadale, you can buy the live stream the match on EMTV, as long as you live outwith a 25 mile radius of the stadium, by going to https://tickets.edinburghmonarchs.co.uk/

Sunday’s return match will also be available to watch online courtesy of Tigers TV and can be ordered from https://tv.glasgowtigers.co.uk/

So, altogether now, 2... 4… 6… 8…

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