Kilmarnock defender Michael Nelson believes Hibernian's precarious league position makes them dangerous opponents in the William Hill Scottish Cup.
Hibs sit just one point off the bottom of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and face the prospect of a nerve-wracking relegation battle as they bid to retain their top-flight status.
Nelson expects the cup action to act as a welcome break and has predicted the Edinburgh side will be a dangerous proposition in Saturday's fifth round tie. He said: "It might take the pressure off them a bit. They might just see this game as a chance to go out and experiment a little."
Nelson added: "If they get knocked out of the cup, they can concentrate on the league. There is absolutely no pressure on them. They will try to use this game as a platform to try to get them going in the SPL. That's why it could be a little bit different to how an SPL game could go."
Kilmarnock have already booked their place in the Scottish Communities League Cup final and are now seeking an extended run in the other cup competition.
Nelson added: "It's important to try to win even though some folk think you just focus on the league and that's the most important thing.
"But you try to win all your cup games to progress and try to get these big occasions of semi-finals and finals. If you win in the cup, you carry the momentum into the next league game which is vital."
The defender made his Killie debut in last week's semi-final victory over local rivals Ayr United and hopes he has done enough to impress boss Kenny Shiels.
He said: "Now I've made it into the team, I just want to try to stay there and win as many as games as possible.
"We've got quite a good squad and, as we have seen over the last couple of weeks, if mistakes are made then somebody else can come in and it could be a while before you get back in. I've got to try to perform in every game and make sure I stay in the side."