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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 04:34 GMT 05:34 UK
Arsenal fans ready for big game
Arsenal fans in Paris

Thousands of Arsenal fans are travelling to Paris to see their heroes take on Spanish side Barcelona in the Champions League Final.

Around 21,000 fans have got tickets for the club's biggest ever match but hundreds more are in the city and willing to pay up to 1,000 to touts.

Pubs across north London are expected to be packed with supporters while millions will watch the match at home.

Arsenal will be hoping to emulate Liverpool's success of 2005.

Victory would be a fitting epitaph for the club's Highbury stadium, which closed its doors to football earlier this month after 93 years as their home.

Many will be anticipating the showdown between the club's star striker Thierry Henry and Barcelona's Brazilian genius Ronaldinho.

'We can beat them'

Henry, the club's all-time top scorer, admitted this week Barcelona were tough opponents.

The 28-year-old, who is known to be wanted by the Spanish club, said: "You can't point to a weakness in a team like Barcelona.

"Football is pretty strange - you never know what can happen. They have a strong defence, a strong midfield, a strong attack and a strong bench, but we are going to go there with the desire of winning the cup, like I am sure they are."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his team had worked hard and now it was time to "go out and finish the job".

He said: "Barcelona are a very good team but playing at our best we can beat them. Even if it is the best team we will play in the Champions League this season, I still believe we can do it.

Ronaldinho
Arsenal fans know Barcelona's Ronaldinho is the man to fear

"I always believed there was something special about this team. They have a combination of humility, hunger, strength, togetherness and talent.

"When you get to the final you want to take the cup home and that's what we want to do. This team has come from behind but has peaked at the right moment," he said.

Pubs in the Highbury and Islington area are expected to be packed on Wednesday night as the match is broadcast live from the Stade de France.

The Gunners pub on Blackstock Road sold out of tickets for punters to watch the game in just four days.

Manager Rob Sturges said he had been getting up to 100 calls a day from fans wanting tickets to watch the game in the pub.

"Every football fan in the world should be looking forward to this match more than any other Champions' League Final we've had before," he said.

The game kicks off at 1945 BST.




SEE ALSO:
Wenger backs Arsenal to triumph
16 May 06 |  Europe


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