Hibs welcome Dundee United to Easter Road for Sunday’s live TV clash looking to banish the nightmares from their opening day performance at Tannadice which seen the Arabs record a one sided 3-0 victory.
The turnaround in the Hibees fortunes since that day has been remarkable, with the Easter Road men challenging at the top of the table – the mere thought of which after that first game would have been met with howls of derision by even the most ardent supporter.
Hibees are currently unbeaten in the SPL at home this season, a run which has seen four victories and two draws and whilst currently sitting joint top with Celtic, hold a three point advantage over their nearest challengers.
Pat Fenlon ‘I said at the start of the season Dundee United and Motherwell, were equipped to challenge Celtic, particularly because they’ve had settled squads over a couple of seasons now.
‘I still feel that they are starting to get players back, key players that have been injured, but I feel we’re equipped to match anybody in the league.
‘We’ve gone up against everybody now and probably Dundee United are the only team that gave us a bit of a lesson in the first game of the season.
‘But we’ve improved dramatically since then and it’s a big test to see how far we’ve come on Sunday. We’re playing at home again, we have a decent record here and we want to maintain that for as long as we can and again.
‘Hopefully we can get plenty of the supporters through to make sure that it’s an intimidating place for away teams.
‘Like I said, we’ve got to build that together as a squad and as a support base and I think we’re slowly doing that.’
Peter Houston – ‘Hibs are in really decent form.
‘They got a draw at Parkhead earlier in the season and because of that your confidence naturally grows from there.
‘They’ve had some other good results since then so it’s been one thing after another for them.
‘I was at the Motherwell match when they beat them 4-0 in the Friday night game and they certainly took their chances.
‘We’ll have to be at our best to win and we’re under no illusions about how tough its going to be for us.’
Hibernian Team News:
Hibs look set to be without Tim Clancy for the second week in succession with Alan Maybury likely to deputise.
Gary Deegan is still out following surgery to a broken jaw.
Player to watch: Ben Williams
The Hibs keeper was vital last week making saves at crucial times and has proved to be an astute signing by Hibs gaffer Pat Fenlon.
Dundee Utd Team News:
United will be missing Barry Douglas after the player picked up an injury during the 1-0 midweek victory over Motherwell.
Player to watch: Gary Mackay Steven
Having destroyed Hibs on the opening day of the season the talented winger has missed much of the season since.
However the former Liverpool trainee has appeared off the bench for United in their last three matches and he marked his SPL comeback with a goal against Celtic last weekend.
Match Facts & Stats
The clubs have met 21 times at Easter Road under the current SPL set up. Hibees have won 11 of these encounters with United registering four victories.
Craig Thomson – The man Hibs fans love to hate is the man in the middle.
A string of dubious calls against the Easter Road men will see the whistler under intense pressure from the home support.
Vital Hibs fancy the Hibees to sneak this 2-1.
Next up for Hibs is a trip to Tayside to face United’s rivals, Dundee.
The Arabs face Kilmarnock at Tannadice next Friday evening.