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Crusaders Match Preview
Uploaded Friday, 6th Dec, 2019 at 16:45

BALLYMENA United travel to Seaview to face league leaders Crusaders in the Danske Bank Premiership, the 4th meeting between the sides this season.
The last time the sides met was in October in the quarter-finals of the BetMcLean League Cup, the Crues winning 2-1 after extra-time with a Jarlath O'Rourke goal just a minute before the end of the game.
Recent results v Crusaders (all league unless stated):
Ballymena United 1-1 (1-2 aet) Crusaders, Ballymena Showgrounds, 29th October 2019. (BetMcLean League Cup Quarter-Final)
Ballymena United 1-1 (1-1 aet 3-2 pens) Crusaders, Ballymena Showgrounds, 15th October 2019. (Toals Co. Antrim Shield Quarter-Final)
Ballymena United 1-1 Crusaders, Ballymena Showgrounds, 12th October 2019. Att: 1423
Ballymena United 3-0 Crusaders, Ballymena Showgrounds, 27th April 2019. Att: 999
Crusaders 3-0 Ballymena United, Seaview, 2nd March 2019. (Tennent's Irish Cup Quarter-Final)
Crusaders 3-2 Ballymena United, Seaview, 1st January 2019. Att: 2054
Crusaders 0-1 Ballymena United, Seaview, 11th December 2018. (BetMcLean League Cup Semi-Final)
Ballymena United 3-0 Crusaders, Ballymena Showgrounds, 27th October 2018. Att: 1275
Crusaders 2-2 Ballymena United, Seaview, 11th August 2018. Att: 1224
Crusaders:
Since the last meeting of the sides in October, Crusaders have went on to draw 1-1 at home to Institute and 0-0 away to Larne, before racking up a 1-0 win away to Warrenpoint Town and a 6-1 win away to Dungannon Swifts, moving them back to the top of the table, joint on points with Coleraine and Cliftonville but ahead on goal difference.

They also won their BetMcLean Semi-Final at home to Institute on Tuesday evening and will go on to face Coleraine in the final in February.
Ballymena United:
Meanwhile, the Sky Blues have lost 5 and drawn 1 of their league games since the end of October, and have failed to win any of their last 10 league games, leaving them in the precarious position of sitting 8th in the league, level with Glenavon who have 2 games in hand, and 3 points ahead of Dungannon Swifts who have a single game in hand. The return from injury of several key players should give United a boost, and manager David Jeffrey is hoping to start gathering momentum towards the end of the year.

The last win for Ballymena United came on the 20th October when they beat Harland & Wolff Welders 4-0 in the semi-final Toals Co Antrim Shield, and go on to face Cliftonville in the final in January.
Away Fans Transport:
Seven Towers Ballymena United Supporters Club bus leaves Henry Street Car Park at 1:45pm.
Match Officials:
Referee: Shane Andrews. Assistant 1: Gavin Hegarty. Assistant 2: Bogdan Sfirloaga. 4th Official: Shane McGonigle.
Match Information:
Admission is payable at the gate.

Kick off is 3:00pm.
All the games between United and Crusaders this season have been low scoring tight affairs, even through the poor spell of form from the Braidmen, so this could be the same. Make your way to Seaview tomorrow and be loud and proud in support of YOUR team - Come On Sky Blues!
Match Preview by Paul Irwin