Scott Allan will be a marked man when Hibs call in at Tannadice on Sunday in the Scottish Cup.
Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson has picked out Allan as the dangerman for the Hibees as both sides look to progress to the competition’s last 16.
The former United and Dundee midfielder will look to pull the strings for Jack Ross’ men, something Robbie is well aware of having enjoyed a brief spell playing alongside the 28-year-old for the Terrors in 2011.
“We played together very, very briefly for three or four months before Scott left,” he said.
“He is a good kid and I used to travel up and down from Glasgow with him, John Rankin, Barry Douglas and Johnny Russell.
“He went down to West Brom and it didn’t quite work out for him down there but he is a very good player.
“He has a pass on him and is one of the players we have to watch on Sunday.”
Allan didn’t kick a ball for the Baggies in his three years at the Hawthorns, instead he went out on loan to the likes of Birmingham, MK Dons and Portsmouth before joining Hibs for his first spell at the club in 2014.
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He left for Celtic a year later but struggled for game time, turning out on loan for Rotherham, the Dark Blues and the Hibees again before re-signing for the Edinburgh side permanently this season.
Although often thought of by some as a ‘nearly man’, playmaker Allan is enjoying his best campaign to date with seven goals and a host of assists.
“His career hasn’t been bad for ‘nearly making it’,” Robbie added.
“He was playing in the English Premier League, Championship and European football with Celtic.
“He has had a good career and you can still see he has quality. He is the one who makes them tick in that No 10 position.
“He will enjoy coming back. He loves a big pitch. Scott needs that bit of freedom behind the strikers to get on the ball.
“He needs to be able to float into those final areas and, when he does, then he has a pass in him.”
Nicky Clark (ankle) is the Tangerines’ only long-term absentee for the cup clash, with Robbie confirming Paul McMullan is touch and go.
Calum Butcher, Sam Stanton and Ian Harkes should all be OK.