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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 February 2006, 10:53 GMT
Woodgate wary over Arsenal form
Jonathan Woodgate
Woodgate was out injured for 18 months after signing for Real
Real Madrid's Jonathan Woodgate has played down Arsenal's mediocre form this season ahead of their Champions League first leg tie on Tuesday.

Arsenal, who are fifth in the league, are struggling to qualify for next season's Champions League, having already exited the FA and League cups.

"I don't like the talk of Arsenal going through a bad patch," said Woodgate.

"We've got to be on our toes because they are the sort of side that can turn it on at any time."

Like Arsenal, Real have suffered from inconsistent domestic form and the Champions League represents their only realistic chance of silverware this season.

Woodgate said: "I think the fact that Arsenal are out of the running in the league and the cups will make them even more dangerous.

It's going to be an incredible feeling wearing a Real Madrid shirt against an English team
Jonathan Woodgate

"Like us they have got to try and win something this year.

"That means they've got to try and win the Champions League."

And Woodgate believes Arsenal, like Liverpool last season, could end surprise winners of this year's tournament.

"We may have the edge in terms of experience because we've got a lot of players who have won the European Cup and Arsenal haven't won a Champions League yet.

"I think they could do it, though, because they are a fantastic side.

"Thierry Henry is one of the world's greatest players and his presence has made the Premier League a better league.

"He scores goals, sets them up and he is their main player, we have got to try and stop him.

"There are other players around him, but he is a phenomenal talent and you've got to be on top of your game to stop him.

"They've also got a fantastic manager in Arsene Wenger and that will stand them in good stead too.

"He has done really well without spending that much money which makes his achievement that much greater. I'm sure he will have a few tricks up his sleeve."

Woodgate added he was looking forward to playing against an English side for the first time since joining Real.

"It's going to be an incredible feeling wearing a Real Madrid shirt against an English team.

"Me and David Beckham were just talking about it the other day. I'm going to enjoy it."


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