By Richard Clarke

Thierry Henry has urged his Arsenal side to treat Wednesday's Champions League Semi-Final first leg like a Premiership match.

Surprise Spanish side Villarreal visit Highbury this week in the opening rubber with the return game next Tuesday at El Madrigal.

For the first time in this year's knockout rounds, Arsène Wenger's side will be favourites. They dispensed with Real Madrid and Juventus thanks to high-tempo tactics. They basically out-ran and out-passed their older opponents. Henry believes another 180 minutes at Premiership pace could put Arsenal in the Final for the first time in their history.

 "What we need to do is defend well as a team and as soon as we can, go and attack," said Henry.

"We need to do it like we do in the Premier League - that is one thing which surprised Juve. They are not used to a team having a go at them all the time, going behind their defence, or putting a high pace into the game. That is what we will have to try to do."

Henry has already done his homework on Villarreal - and their dangerman.

"They are a good team, play good football - and if you let them play, they can really hurt you," he said. "They are a bit like us in a way, with the way that we are playing in the Champions League.

"They base their game on being tight together and, after making sure, they can hit you on the break.

"With a guy like Juan Ramon Riquelme, it is difficult to think about man-marking him - we do not do that anyway.

"He is a guy who can pass wherever he wants and also has the ability to do whatever he wants on the ball.

"They are well-organised and we know it is going to be an important game."

18/1 - Arsenal v Villarreal - Henry to score first and Arsenal to win 2-0

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Richard Clarke 15 Apr 2006