Match Preview: Hibernian (H)21 February 2023
The stats show the Jambos enter this match on their poorest league run of the season. Hearts are currently three games without a win in the SWPL, but the fact that this is their poorest run of the season is a testament to how much Eva Olid's side have improved this season.
Defeats to Celtic and Glasgow City in wild conditions at the Oriam either side of a frustrating draw away at Motherwell still brought about plenty of positives for Hearts and a Scottish Cup victory over Partick Thistle, saw them play some fantastic football as they got back on the winning trail prior to last weekend’s international break.
As for the visitors, they also progressed in the Scottish Cup with a comfortable victory over East Fife and barring a surprise defeat to Spartans, have been in good form despite having their fair share of injury problems.
Hearts and Hibs look set to battle it out for fourth spot in the SWPL and with the split looming, the Edinburgh derbies look certain to prove pivotal in the race for fourth.
Ones to watch:
From a Hearts point of view, Georgia Timms is a real all-round striker and will be looking to add to her nine goals in all competitions this season.
The versatility in this Hearts side has been key to their success this season with Eva Olid’s side comfortable in either a three or four at the back formation and with the energy of Ciara Grant and Cailin Michie in midfield, the directness of Jenny Smith and the quality of Katie Rood, Hibs are sure to have plenty to think about.
Hibs themselves do have a talented squad, however, due to injuries, manager Dean Gibson is unlikely to be afforded the luxury of fielding his strongest XI.
Nevertheless, the likes of Michaela McAlonie, Lucy Parry, and new striker Katie Lockwood will look to cause Hearts plenty of problems.
Easter Road meeting:
The points were shared in an entertaining derby match at Easter Road earlier in the season.
Hearts, arguably overawed by the occasion, struggled to impose themselves on the match in the first 45, but they got themselves ahead on the hour mark, thanks to Emma Brownlie.
The goal gave Hearts a real boost and they enjoyed their best spell of the match until Hibs equalised through Crystal Thomas, fives minutes from the end.
Over the piece, a draw was probably a fair outcome, although Hearts will hope with a raucous Tynecastle crowd behind them, they can move six points clear of their rivals with a victory.
Eilidh Davies and Claragh Connor remain out for Hearts, otherwise, Eva Olid has a full squad to choose from.
“We are excited for the game. Last season when we played Hibs here, we had a very young team, but I still thought we competed and played well.
“We are hoping to have a similar number of fans that we had at Easter Road, but last season we did not expect to get the numbers we are hoping to get on Sunday, so it is a big progression for the team and women’s football as a whole.”
Tickets are free and are available to buy online from Hearts eTickets, or in person from the Hearts Ticket Office