Scottish football could be gripped with derby fever in Glasgow and Dundee at the start of next season after details of the proposed seedings and geographical split for the Betfred League Cup was issued this week.
A South group containing Partick Thistle, Rangers, Queen’s Park, Clyde and nearby Airdrie is a possibility when the season kicks off on 16 July as is a North group including Dundee, Dundee United, Dunfermline, Montrose and Arbroath.
Forty clubs will compete in eight regionalised groups of five teams in the first stage of the competition and there is the possibility of a host of neighbourly matches with the teams playing each other once.
The four clubs due to compete in Europe – Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs are exempt from this stage – with Highland League champions Cove Rangers along with Pyramid play-off finalists East Stirling and new SPFL club Edinburgh City included to take the number to 40.
Eight Premiership clubs from last season are grouped together as the top seeds with Championship winners Rangers in the second set of seeds along with relegated Dundee United.
Dumbarton have been switched to the north of the country to allow a balance of seeds at this second level with the remaining clubs spilt into two unseeded groups of 12.
Three clubs from this last set will go into each group via a draw for the series of four games at every level. The eight group winners and four best runners-up qualify for Round 2 which sees the tournament revert back to a knockout competition.
The best runners-up position is determined by points won, including an extra point being earned by the winners of a penalty shoot-out at the end of every drawn game.
Goal difference will then be used if teams remain tied.