Three weeks into the new season, but already Dungannon Swifts against Carrick Rangers has the look of a six-pointer.
Two sides expected to struggle this season meet in a vitally important clash this evening which, even at this early stage, is one that neither can afford to lose.
And Dungannon will have home advantage, after the fixture was switched to Stangmore Park at Carrick’s request.
After taking just one point from the opening three league games, Dungannon boss Dixie Robinson admits victory is essential.
“We had a tough start against Coleraine, and then Glentoran and Linfield, and those are games which I accept we will struggle in,” he said.
“However, we need to be targeting three points against Carrick Rangers.
“We have also switched the venue and it makes a big game even bigger for us.”
After drawing 0-0 with Coleraine, Dungannon lost both their meetings against the Big Two, but Robinson has been encouraged by his players’ performances.
“During the first half on Saturday we were outworked, outmuscled and outplayed, but there is no shame in struggling against Linfield. Against Coleraine and Glentoran I didn’t feel we were second best, so I have to be encouraged.”