The pair have been drawn to face one another in the Scottish Cup fourth round. Hibs are undergoing a revival under new boss Jack Ross whilst Neilson is guiding United to the Championship crown.
Neilson says it’s a great opportunity for his team in a game that could potentially be the pick of the Scottish Cup ties next month.
He told the Daily Record (page 81, 30/11/19): “It’s a tough game, no doubt about that. Jack going in there has changed the dynamic of the whole team.
“They played two up front last Saturday and got a result and I would expect them to continue that. But we look at this and see it as a great opportunity to see where we are in comparison in terms of the top flight.
“It’s maybe the tie of the round. People will be seeing we’re doing pretty well in the Championship and hopefully by that point we’ll still be doing well.”
Neilson’s ‘tie of the round claim’ likely correct
Neilson seems to believe in this side’s star quality and he’s probably right. Two of the SPFL’s big teams going toe to toe for the first time since 2017 certainly has star potential.
Both sides are on the up right now. Hibs have broken into the top six under Ross and are playing some attractive football. United on the other hand sit seven clear at the Championship summit with a seven point advantage over second place Inverness.
The Edinburgh side will be coming into this game off the back of a winter break whilst United will have a few Championship games to build up form ahead of the game. Regardless, it’s set to be an exciting clash.
For Neilson, he’ll be hoping to lay down a marker in 2020 by claiming a Premiership scalp.