HIBS are standing by to host their biggest crowd in 11 months against Championship title rivals Dundee United at Easter Road tomorrow night.
More than 16,000 tickets have already been sold for the top-of-the-table showdown, with Neil Lennon’s team just one point ahead of their Tannadice opponents.
An expected surge between now and kick-off time should ensure it is the highest attendance for a fixture at the ground since Hibs defeated Hearts 1-0 in a Scottish Cup fifth round replay in front of 19,433 people on February 16 last year.
The Edinburgh men had around 1200 tickets left to sell for the home end last night, while United were in the process of selling an additional allocation of 644 after shifting their initial batch of 1900.
The biggest attendance at Easter Road this season came on the opening day of the Championship campaign when 16,477 turned out to see a 2-1 victory over Dunfermline in August.
Since then, crowds for home league matches have fluctuated between 13,881, for the game against Dumbarton last month, and 15,492, for the last meeting against United in October
An anticipated attendance in excess of 17,000 tomorrow night would represent a significant increase on similarly important matches last season.
Hibs were boosted ahead of the crunch confrontation by going back to the Championship pinnacle following on-loan Celt Kris Commons’ last-minute free-kick winner against Falkirk while United slumped to defeat at Dumbarton.
Lennon could also have goalkeeper Ofir Marciano and key midfielder John McGinn back in the squad after injury lay-offs.
United boss Ray McKinnon, whose side have taken four points from their two matches against Hibs this season, is hopeful Tony Andreu will have recovered from a rib injury in time to return to the side.