For years harking back to the early nineties we have been subjected to appalling criticism of the Scottish main division, derisory comments and lower league status in all media outlets. Harry Redknapp was the last to launch a tongue in cheek tirade before & after his sides demolition of Hearts in the EL qualifiers and although he was correct in the majority of his spiel, he may have to look a little closer to home to find a similar situation unfolding in England.

Young & Rooney form a lethal partnership

Manchester United & Manchester City are on a wrecking spree and Premier League defences are taking a battering akin to the scorelines that Celtic (and to a lesser extent Home Bargains FC) dish out on a weekly basis. And the gap is now widening, not just between the top four or six, but they are weaving their magic against the likes of Spurs & Arsenal – the latter who you would in previous years look to for a formidable title challenge.  These match results are not the only similarities which can now be drawn between the two leagues,  in the last seven seasons United have come out on top on four occasions with Chelsea sharing the limelight the other three. Their ageing squad I feel can take a back seat for the coming year or two until Villas-Boas gets his team & shape together, and copes with the transition of a few of his more experienced players possibly being put out to grass.

Since the revamped Scottish Premier League in 1998-99 (following the “Stopping of the Ten”), the Glasgow giants have shared the thirteen championships with only Hearts in 05-06 breaking up the top two in the standings.  And with money and talented players at the other clubs in the league at a minimum, you wouldn’t bank on anyone splitting up the status quo anytime soon. Money is frittered away in North England at a phenomenal rate and this close season alone, both clubs spent over £120m in new additions – which may well be recouped sooner than they imagine.  United have arguably the three most promising English players in the country with Rooney, Young and Cleverly making a devastating impact on their domestic opponents so far.  City has managed to improve on their plethora of World stars with Samir Nasri & Sergio Aguero adding to the immense attacking options Mancin’s side have at their disposal – last season’s hero Carlos Tevez only receiving his first start of the season on Saturday.

Aguero, Silva & Dzeko obliterating EPL sides

The 23rd of October will show if City have the true steel and grit within their globetrotting side when they visit Old Trafford for the first Derby of the season – with an impressive thirty-three goals between them so far, the neutral will be looking for a feast of onion bag rattling and they have so far whet the appetite. I feel with the talent on display from the Red Devils & Light Blues,  (& even with two trips to Merseyside and a home tie with the Blues at OT prior) this will be the first opportunity for one to put their necks in front – but from then on in, a photo finish is well on the cards.

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