Gary Mackay: Jamie Walker can light up Hearts-Hibs cup semi-final

With the natural ability he possesses, and if his mindset and attitude are correct, Jamie Walker has the potential to light up Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final.
Jamie Walker can light up the semi-final for Hearts if he is on form.Jamie Walker can light up the semi-final for Hearts if he is on form.
Jamie Walker can light up the semi-final for Hearts if he is on form.

If he takes the game by the scruff of the neck, he could be the difference because he has match-winning qualities when at the top of his game.

If that happens, Liam Boyce is then more than capable of upsetting the two Hibs centre-backs and feeding off Walker's supply. Both could become pivotal players for Hearts on what is massive occasion.

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Much will depend on how the two managers decide to set their stalls out, and perhaps whether one can surprise the other. They both know one another extremely well.

The figureheads at Hearts and Hibs are both in the infancy of their managerial careers. Robbie Neilson and Jack Ross have a reasonable amount of experience but they haven't long started out as managers.

To be the one who leads your team out in a cup final would be a huge fillet for whichever individual gets that honour.

Football throws crazy things up at different times and this is one of them: Two guys who coached together in the past at Hearts, worked hand-in-hand, now on opposite sides of the football divide in Edinburgh.

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Both of them will have scouted the other's team extensively in recent weeks, especially with games so easily accessible on TV at the moment. They are both thorough in their preparations, which is exactly how it should be. There won't be any stone left unturned in an effort to make sure they come out on top.

They have such an opportunity to get to a cup final here. Looking at the form of the other two semi-finalists right now, Aberdeen and Celtic, you would think you would have a fair chance of beating one of them in the final.

Can either Robbie or Jack spring a surprise that the other one isn't expecting? Possibly that could be the difference. Ultimately, I believe it will come down to which set of the players on the day can handle a surreal atmosphere in a massive but empty stadium.

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