The “New Firm” may not be feared in the same way they were when the term was coined first under Jim McLean and Alex Ferguson.
But Dundee United and Aberdeen are still big fish in the small pond of Scottish football, with European pedigree which many big English clubs would envy.
United’s 110 European appearances, with a final and a semi-final to their name, and the Dons 150 European games, with a Cup Winners Cup and UEFA Super Cup success, are proud records.
For comparison, Leicester City, Premier League winners in 2015/16, have 26 European appearances and West Ham have 56.
I sometimes think that both United and the Dons carry an extra burden with their illustrious European histories, but both are where they are which, in United’s case currently, is in a healthier position than their 1980s rivals.
Dundonian Stephen Glass has had a tough baptism at Pittodrie as boss.
His team looked to be firing on all cylinders after a shaky start to the season, with a draw at Ibrox sandwiched between fine wins at home against Hibs and Hearts.
But their last outing saw Motherwell mug them with two goals in seven minutes and they find themselves in danger of being cut nine points adrift of United if Tam Courts’ side can avenge their opening day defeat in the North East.
Courts and his team have improved dramatically, indeed are almost unrecognisable from that 2-0 loss in which they had only one shot on target and only 41% possession.
The test for the Terrors this weekend is how they react after two straight league defeats, against St Johnstone and the 5-2 mauling at Hearts.
The international break will have been of benefit to both “New Firm” squads and their managers, with time for injury and fitness issues to resolve themselves and also a useful pause to reflect on the good the bad and the ugly in their respective performances so far.
The pressure never lets up in the Premiership – and in particular this season, which is shaping up to be the most competitive in many a year.
The Dons don’t want to slip out of touch with those in the top half, while United want to remind those teams roundabout them that their impressive start to the season is no flash in the pan.
I was at Hampden as a youngster to see St Johnstone’s first ever final appearance, in their 1-0 League Cup defeat to Celtic.
There’s no reason why their visit to the national stadium to meet the Hoops in the first of this weekend’s semi finals shouldn’t bring them joy.
They’re unlikely to have the better of the territorial battle, so they need to capitalise when they do get forward by winning corners and free kicks and supplying quality crosses for the threat posed by Shaun Rooney.
Celtic’s speed of thought, touch and movement makes them formidable and, with 30 goals for and only 9 against, they score more and concede less any other team in the league.
Saints, though, are double cup-winners.
That fact alone should see them brimming with confidence as they take aim at another final.
The Yogi effect was in evidence in Dunfermline’s first win of the season last Saturday at Inverness.
John Hughes wasn’t officially in charge but I suspect his appointment galvanised a squad which was low on confidence.
I suspect Hughes may be an ideal match for the Pars.
I often think there’s a form of snobbery at work with Hughes who has been caricatured as some kind of dinosaur.
I pointed out here last week that his record stands comparison with many and is better than most.
His proud unyielding accent as a son of a Leith docker seems to rub some folk up the wrong way, but I’ve always found him to be very switched on and open to new ways of thinking.
Last week was a great start and I think he may be a spectacularly good fit for Dunfermline as they try to recapture some of the pride and passion which should be the hallmark of that great old club.