Edinburgh Monarchs v Glasgow Tigers: Toughest home match so far, says James Sarjeant

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The Edinburgh Monarchs face the acid test this weekend when they face Scottish rivals – and Championship title favourites – the Glasgow Tigers.

The two clubs go wheel to wheel at Armadale tonight before locking horns once more at Ashfield on Sunday.

The Monarchs have started the campaign well with three wins from their four meetings so far, although two of those were in the Knockout Cup against a very poor Newcastle Diamonds.

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There's sure to be a bumper crowd in West Lothian tonight as both sets of riders fight tooth and nail to get the better of one another. But the Tigers, spearheaded by former Monarchs' favourite Craig Cook, are, arguably, the strongest septet in British speedway's middle tier.

James Sarjeant will be up against his former club. Picture Jack CupidoJames Sarjeant will be up against his former club. Picture Jack Cupido
James Sarjeant will be up against his former club. Picture Jack Cupido

That said, Monarchs skipper and No.1 Sam Masters is yet to be beaten by an opposing rider at home this season with Josh Pickering also in fabulous form.

Team boss Alex Harkess said: "This week is obviously a lot harder than Newcastle, but the top teams have to come to Armadale eventually and we've got to go to their places. It's never an easy fixture no matter what the record books might say. They have riders that are more than capable of going well around Armadale – we've seen it all in the past. It's up to us to nip them in the bud and not let them get in front. That's the plan but it will not be easy, that's for sure."

Reserve James Sarjeant, formerly of the Tigers, scored a paid maximum against the Diamonds last Friday from his four rides and is relishing the opportunity to face his former club in Monarchs colours.

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"It will be a lot tougher being Glasgow so it will probably be our toughest home match so far," the Yorkshireman said. "Obviously local derbies you see guys pulling stuff out their hats they don't usually do so it's more like a cup final than a regular league match. But we'll all be up for it."

The main event will be followed by a junior challenge fixture between the West Lothian Wildcats and the Armadale Angels, featuring four graduates from the Monarchs' Academy on 125cc bikes.

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