Women’s football: Hearts and Hibs clash in Scottish Cup semi

Team bonding: Hibs' Lizzie Arnot, Lisa Robertson and Clare Williamson

Team bonding: Hibs' Lizzie Arnot, Lisa Robertson and Clare Williamson

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Hibs Ladies winger Lizzie Arnot believes her team’s experience of Champions League football will bring major benefits for Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final clash with city rivals Hearts.

The Hibees were beaten 10-1 on aggregate by one of the pre-tournament favourites Bayern Munich in their Round of 32 clash, losing 6-0 at Easter Road ten days ago before a 4-1 defeat in the return leg at the Grunwalder Stadion on Wednesday.

Hibs now turn their attention to this weekend’s showdown with Hearts at Ainslie Park (12.00pm kick-off) with Arnot insisting there is real togetherness within the camp.

“We’ve bonded really well these last few weeks,” the 20-year-old Scottish internationalist said. “We’ve spent a lot more time with each other, there’s been more downtime to relax and you can see people coming out of their shells. The experience of the Champions League has definitely brought the squad together a whole lot more.

“We all want to play in the Scottish Cup final so Sunday will be a big occasion. We just need to make sure we get there and playing our big rivals there is obviously that bigger incentive.

“Games like this come down to having the right mindset. We have been playing some really tough games recently but If we go in with the right attitude then we should hopefully win the game.”

Hearts boss Grant Scott accepts his side are massive underdogs but is hoping the recent exertions of their opponents might just swing the tie in their favour.

“The gulf in difference in what they’ve been playing lately is almost what we now face as they are a top team in this country,” he said. “But we can’t go in with the wrong attitude. We’ve just got to hope we have a really good day and they are slightly off colour. I know it’s a bit cliché but unfortunately that’s the reality.

“This is like our cup final so we’ve done everything right to prepare for it. I just hope the girls are ready to go come Sunday.”