Are Celtic and Rangers already pulling away in the Scottish Premiership?

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'Both are flexing their muscles at the start of the season'

Twenty goals for, two hat-tricks and a pair of perfect records.

Although we're only two games into the new Scottish Premiership season, there are already a number of trends beginning to emerge.

Perhaps the most obvious of them has been the manner in which Celtic and Rangers have kicked into gear.

Can the rest of the league muster a challenge against the top two or, even at this early stage, are the Glasgow giants capable of pulling away from the rest?

BBC Scotland takes a look...

Having fun in Glasgow

The most startling thing about the way Celtic and Rangers have both started the season is the sheer amount of goals each side is scoring.

Steven Gerrard's side added no less than six players to their forward line during the summer transfer window, while Neil Lennon welcomed back former goalscorer-in-chief Leigh Griffiths and as such both Glasgow clubs have been scoring for fun.

In all competitions so far this season Rangers have averaged an incredible 3.42 goals per game and Celtic have scored an impressive 2.78. Both figures are well above last season's averages, with Rangers currently scoring an extra 1.47 goals per game on average and Celtic a further 0.84.

Defences on top

They also look better in defence, too. Between them, both clubs have already brought in five first-team defenders and although most of those players are still bedding in, each club has already enjoyed an improved defensive record.

For example, the amount of goals Celtic conceded per game has fallen from last season's 0.74 to 0.56 and Rangers' almost identical record has also dropped from 0.74 to 0.57.

And while it's still too early in the season to be drawing definitive conclusions, it is certainly an indication other clubs will find it tougher to penetrate against Scotland's big two.

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Trouble among the chasing pack

Away from Glasgow the teams most would expect to be there or thereabouts in the top six are already faltering with their own form.

Perhaps the most obvious example of this is Aberdeen, who have shown signs of wear and tear in their attempt to juggle Europa League qualifiers with a tricky start to the season. As Derek McInnes has suggested himself, the Dons looked tired in their 3-2 win over Hearts last weekend. And since then they have lost to Rijeka in a 2-0 defeat in northern Croatia and then faltered again to St Mirren, in Sunday's 1-0 loss in Paisley.

Hearts, who boast the fourth largest playing budget in the country, have also stumbled at the first hurdle. Craig Levein's side failed to beat Dundee United and East Fife in normal time in the League Cup group stage and then lost to Aberdeen and, on Saturday, drew 0-0 at Tynecastle against Ross County. They currently sit ninth on one point.

On the opening weekend of the league season Rangers went to Kilmarnock and finally claimed a win in a fixture that alluded them so much last season. The following weekend both Motherwell and Hibs decided to go toe-to-toe with either Glasgow side and in return watched 11 goals fly in to their own net.

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'Both are flexing their muscles at the start of the season' - analysis

Former Scotland striker Steven Thompson

I think it will be a two-horse race. I think it will be Celtic or Rangers that win the league.

They're showing their early dominance with the amount of goals that they're scoring against teams. Both of the Old Firm sides are flexing their muscles at the start of the season.

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