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Last Updated: Friday, 27 July 2007, 23:47 GMT 00:47 UK
Hearts heading for a home record
Noel Hunt is gifted a Barcelona shirt by Thierry Henry on Wednesday
Thierry Henry (right) scored the winner against Dundee United
Hearts expect Saturday's friendly against Barcelona to create a new home attendance record.

The Edinburgh club predict that the crowd will reach nearly 60,000, the fixture having been switched to the national rugby stadium at Murrayfield.

That would surpass the 53,369 who watched the Scottish Cup tie against Rangers in 1932.

But it appears likely to fall short of the 65,860 who witnessed Hearts visit to Hibernian's Easter Road in 1950.

So hopes of creating a new record for a football match in Edinburgh are likely to be dashed.

But Hearts midfielder Laryea Kingston was taking all the hype about the Spanish side's visit in his stride.

"Barcelona is one of the biggest clubs in the world," he told his club website.

We couldn't get a more difficult pre-season game if we tried

Hearts assistant Stephen Frail

"It is going to be a very good game and a great challenge for me and my colleagues.

"It will be a great atmosphere.

"There will be a big crowd inside Murrayfield, but I have played in front of crowds like that and I am looking forward to the occasion.

"It will be ideal for us to play a team like Barcelona before our season starts.

"But this is a friendly game and, while this is a big match, the important one for us is Hibs as we all want to start the season well.

"We have one or two new players in now and I think we can challenge Celtic and Rangers this season."

Central defender Christophe Berra will play, despite being suspended for the opening day of the league season.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

Assistant manager Stephen Frail said: "We don't have a lot of bodies in terms of left-sided centre-backs and so Christophe will feature.

"I think he has earned the right to face the likes of Henry and Ronaldinho with his performances last season and his displays in pre-season.

"We couldn't get a more difficult pre-season game if we tried, but we are looking forward to it.

"It's a fantastic end to our pre-season preparations with the crowd that is expected and it's shaping up to be a cracking game."

Barcelona defeated Dundee United 1-0 thanks to a late Thierry Henry strike in a pre-season friendly on Thursday.

"I think it will be competitive," added Frail. "I was at Tannadice for the Dundee United game on Thursday and both sides were physical.

"They'll want to win, they are proud players and they won't be coming here to take it easy."

SEE ALSO
Deco praises strong United side
27 Jul 07 |  Dundee Utd
Henry strikes on Barcelona debut
26 Jul 07 |  Dundee Utd
Hearts suffer SPL kick-off blow
26 Jul 07 |  Heart of Midlothian


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