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Saturday 23rd September v. Ballinamallard United (away) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Odds BK Match Preview
Uploaded Tuesday, 27th Jun, 2017 at 22:39

BALLYMENA United face Norwegian side Odds BK in the Europa League First Qualifying Round on Thursday evening.
It's the first time since the 2004/05 season that United have qualified for European competition, when they drew 0-0 away to Danish side Odense BK but lost 7-0 in the return leg in Ballymena.

Odds BK have featured in the Europa League in the past two seasons. In the 2015/16 season they managed to make the play-off for the group stages, beating Moldovan side FC Sheriff Tiraspol 3-0, Shamrock Rovers 4-1 and Swedes IF Elfsborg 3-2 before eventually losing out to German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund 5-11. Last season they lost 3-4 to Greeks PAS Giannina in the second qualifying round after defeating Finns IFK Mariehamn 3-1 on aggregate at the first stage.
Odds BK:
Odds Ballklubb, commonly known as Odd, is a Norwegian football club from Skien. They qualified for this years Europa League by finishing last season in 3rd place in the Norwegian Eliteserien, behind champions Rosenborg and runners-up Brann.

They're currently 14 games into their league season and sit in 7th place having won 6, drawn 3 and lost 5 games. The last 5 games have seen 1 win, 3 draws and a defeat in their most recent game, losing 5-1 away to Aalesund on Sunday evening.
Ballymena United:
Ballymena United qualified for this seasons Europa League through the Northern Ireland Football League play-off system, involving the teams in 4th to 7th place playing a mini knockout competition. Ballymena United, having finished 4th in the league, defeated 7th placed Dungannon Swifts 5-2 at home, while 5th placed Cliftonville lost 3-5 to 6th placed Glenavon. This set up a tough game against Glenavon, who United hadn't managed to beat since March 2014. A packed Ballymena Showgrounds watched on in the play-off final as the home side ran out 2-1 winners to the delight of the "Sky Blue Army" (Ballymena United supporters) and officials and players of the Club.
The Sky Blue Army in full voice during the Europa League play-off final
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Manager David Jeffrey celebrates with the squad and backroom staff
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Travel Advice:
Cathy Brenne, consular officer of the British Embassy in Oslo, has kindly put together some information for Ballymena United and our fans. We strongly urge ALL our travelling fans to click here as it contains some very important and useful information.
Skagerak Arena and Fort Falkum:
The game will take place at Skagerak Arena in Skien, and Oddrane supporterklubb have generously extended the hand of friendship to our supporters with an invite to their own pub - Fort Falkum - which is just 50 metres from the stadium. On offer will be grilled hamburgers and various beverages at reasonable prices (in Norwegian terms).
Directions from Skien Station to Fort Falkum
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Their supporters club has also advised us to visit the Visit Grenland website for recommendations on attractions, adventures, food & beverages, transportation and much more.
Match Officials:
Referee: Edin Jakupovic. Assistant 1: Senad Ibrisimbegovic. Assistant 2: Damir Lazic. 4th Official: Admir Sehovic.
Match Information:
Admission to the game is strictly by ticket only.

Please click here to find out where and how to get your tickets.

Kick off is 7:00pm local time (6:00pm UK time).
It's an exciting time to be a Sky Blue! We know quite a few supporters will be making the trip to Skien so, as always, we call on you to be loud and proud in the stands, and friendly in the streets. Look after one another and enjoy your stay in Norway and last of all - Come On Sky Blues!
Match Preview by Paul Irwin