Is the Edinburgh Derby a Fixture to Rival the Old Firm?

Hearts Tynecastle

Much of the myth and legend of football is built around famous rivalries, whether it is between individual players and managers or, as is most common, clubs based in the same city.

These games mean everything to fans and often take on greater importance than any other match on the fixture list. The results can mean bragging rights in workplaces or in pubs for months – or even years – to come.

Heart of Midlothian v Hibernian is one such famous fixture and despite them not currently being in the same league, following the latter’s relegation to the Scottish Championship three years ago, the two Edinburgh teams are simply unable to avoid each other. They have met in the last 16 of the Scottish Cup for the past two seasons, with Hibs winning 1–0 in a replay at Easter Road in 2015-16 following a 2-2 draw at Tynecastle.

But where does the rivalry rank in comparison to that other famous Scottish derby between the Old Firm of Rangers and Celtic?

Long History

As 32Red’s rundown of the five most memorable Old Firm games shows, the history between Rangers and Celtic has rumbled on for more than a century. According to 32Red, Celtic dominated the early years with nine victories following the first ever match in 1890. However, Rangers got their own back with a 5-0 win in 1894, which remains the club’s largest victory over their bitter rivals.

The Edinburgh derby follows a similar pattern, as Hearts not only beat Hibs in their first-ever league meeting in 1895 but have also recorded the most wins in the fixture’s history. However, Hibernian hold the bragging rights in relation to the biggest ever win – a 7-0 thumping at Tynecastle.

Passion and Pride

Scottish Cup matches won in the last 5 years :

  • Hibs 18
  • Celtic 15
  • Rangers 14
  • Dundee United 13
  • Inverness 12
  • Aberdeen 7
  • Hearts 6

One of the aspects which defines a real derby is the intensity with which the games are played. The Old Firm is renowned for passion and pride both in the stands and on the pitch – and the Edinburgh derby is no different.

Both sides had men sent off during the Scottish Cup replay in 2015-16, with second yellow cards for goalscorer Jason Cummings and Blazej Augustyn being as a result of throwing or kicking the ball away. All in all, fairly tame offences in the context of this fixture.

Renewing Old Rivalries

Like Rangers and Celtic, the rivalry between Hearts and Hibs has also been disrupted in recent years due to the clubs not being in the same league.

However, that all looks set to change in the coming months with Hibs, now under the management of Neil Lennon, maintaining a good lead at the top of the Scottish Championship. Will their season end in promotion back to the SPL and more fixtures against their fierce rivals? Well, according to bookies including 10Bet and Sports Winner, the answer is more than likely.

A Classic

All things considered, it is clear that the Edinburgh Derby has much to rival the Old Firm in terms of both pride, passion and the long history of the fixture. While the recent cup meetings have been fierce contests, many fans will be hoping that the three-year wait for the sides to meet once again in the league will soon come to an end.

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