Who will come out on top between Hearts and Dundee this coming season is too close to call.
That’s the view of former Dens and Tynecastle winger Steven Boyack.
The recently-relegated capital side and the Dark Blues are expected to battle it out at the top of the Championship next season.
And they’ll face off on the opening day of the season at Tynecastle on October 17 when the lower-league action restarts.
Boyack, though, is disappointed that the game between two of his former sides is in the second tier.
He told Tele Sport: “Call it a draw!
“It’s the two biggest sides in the division and some way to start the season.
“The first thing that grabs me though is it’s in the Championship. That’s the nasty bit.
“I’m still in touch with people at Hearts and it was a real blow for them to go down. A club that size shouldn’t be outside the Premiership. Neither should Dundee.
“I know Robbie Neilson well, we used to drive to training together, and I’m sure he’ll do a good job there.
“Looking ahead to that game, it all depends on which Hearts players are still there and which ones move on between now and then. I think they might lose a few just because of the budget they’ll have.
“It’s a really hard one to call.”
Last week the Scottish Government said fans may be allowed back into stadiums from September 14 should coronavirus suppression continue.
For an opening day like that, at a ground famed for its atmosphere, it would be a huge disappointment to see the teams face off in front of empty stands.
“The biggest shame is a ground like Tynecastle might not have fans in it for a game like that,” Boyack added.
“And the clubs won’t get the money in for that either. That there might be fans in the ground is a real positive, it’s not the same without fans. I’ve watched some of the games down south and didn’t like it.
“Tynecastle can be great because of the stands being so close but it can be a tough place to play as well – I know that only too well!”
Boyack, who spent two years at Dens Park after leaving Rangers, has been worried by the financial strain placed on Dundee since the coronavirus shutdown with the first-team players taking pay cuts to help the club through the worst of it.
He added: “It must be hard right now for clubs with the financial issues going on. I know the players have taken wage cuts and the club are having to make difficult decisions.
“I have a lot of mates who worked at Hibs, Hearts, St Johnstone who have lost their jobs and it’s tough.
“I always say now that I’m glad I’m not involved and I don’t have immediate family involved in football any more.
“We all know clubs run on fresh air really and jobs aren’t always secure. When I played I didn’t really think about it but being older now… I just hope they all survive.
“It’s hard for players in a situation like we are in now because you can lose your job or lose an opportunity not by anything you’ve done on the pitch but by things happening off it.”