Arsenal and Chelsea fans arrive at the Olympic Stadium in Baku

Arsenal and Chelsea fans have descended upon the Olympic Stadium in Baku with the hours ticking down until kick-off in the Europa League final.

The two London clubs meet in the first of two all-English European finals this week in the Azerbaijani capital on Wednesday night.

And despite the travel difficulties presented by a near-3,000 mile trip to Eastern Europe they appeared in high spirits ahead of the big game.

A group of Arsenal fans take a selfie outside the Olympic Stadium in Baku on Wednesday night

A group of Arsenal fans take a selfie outside the Olympic Stadium in Baku on Wednesday night

A group of Arsenal fans take a selfie outside the Olympic Stadium in Baku on Wednesday night

A group of Chelsea fans pose with a flag ahead of the Europa League final in Baku

A group of Chelsea fans pose with a flag ahead of the Europa League final in Baku

A group of Chelsea fans pose with a flag ahead of the Europa League final in Baku

Arsenal fans pictured gathered in the city centre earlier in the day ahead of the final

Arsenal fans pictured gathered in the city centre earlier in the day ahead of the final

Arsenal fans pictured gathered in the city centre earlier in the day ahead of the final

One Arsenal fan shows off his flag as the clock ticks down towards kick-off on Wednesday

One Arsenal fan shows off his flag as the clock ticks down towards kick-off on Wednesday

One Arsenal fan shows off his flag as the clock ticks down towards kick-off on Wednesday

Fans posed for pictures and selfies outside the stadium, which glowed a bright orange as night set in. One of them even dressed up as Big Ben, to bring a flavour of London to the occasion.

Plenty of locals were out in force with just 6,000 Arsenal and Chelsea fans expected to have made the trip from the UK.

Both clubs were allocated 12,000 tickets between them for the showpiece final at a stadium which boasts a 69,870.

But they have ended up sending around half of their tickets back, with fans encountering great difficulties in terms of travel and cost.

Chelsea supporters wave flags and pose for pictures outside the stadium in Baku

Chelsea supporters wave flags and pose for pictures outside the stadium in Baku

Chelsea supporters wave flags and pose for pictures outside the stadium in Baku

Anticipation has been building all day in the Azerbaijani capital ahead of the big game

Anticipation has been building all day in the Azerbaijani capital ahead of the big game

 Anticipation has been building all day in the Azerbaijani capital ahead of the big game

One fan dressed up as Big Ben to bring a flavour of London to the all-English final

One fan dressed up as Big Ben to bring a flavour of London to the all-English final

One fan dressed up as Big Ben to bring a flavour of London to the all-English final

Locals were out in force as the buildup to Wednesday night's showpiece ticked down

Locals were out in force as the buildup to Wednesday night's showpiece ticked down

Locals were out in force as the buildup to Wednesday night’s showpiece ticked down

Kick-off in Baku is at 8pm BST, 11pm local time in Azerbaijan. 

Earlier in the day it was reported that two fans had been injured in violent clashes.

Local reports in Baku state that two supporters were taken to hospital overnight and treated for their injuries.

Baku-based newspaper Haqqin.az broke the story on Wednesday morning, though there has since been no confirmation from either of the clubs.

Azerbaijan Health Ministry spokesman Parviz Abubekirov revealed that one British fan was hospitalised with an open head wound and bruising ‘as a result of an altercation between fans of the two football teams.’

A couple of supporters decided to dress up for the occasion at Baku's Olympic Stadium

A couple of supporters decided to dress up for the occasion at Baku's Olympic Stadium

A couple of supporters decided to dress up for the occasion at Baku’s Olympic Stadium

A marching band dressed up as the Royal Guards to help atmosphere outside the ground

A marching band dressed up as the Royal Guards to help atmosphere outside the ground

A marching band dressed up as the Royal Guards to help atmosphere outside the ground

Link hienalouca.com

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