Kenny Shiels has labelled Derry City's visit to Limerick's Markets Field tonight as a "six-pointer".
The Candystripes, in fourth, are just three points ahead of fifth placed Limerick, but a City win would put clear daylight between the teams in the race for European qualification.
There is still a long way to go this season but there is no doubting the importance of this evening's tie.
With Cork City rampaging towards the league title, the rest of the Premier Division is left to fight for the two remaining European places, and Shiels is hoping his players can continue a superb record which has seen Derry win on their last seven visits to Limerick.
"It's the proverbial six-pointer where we could be six points ahead or level," he explained.
"I think the game will depend on who keeps the ball the best and who finishes the chances they create and we've got to improve in that department.
"It's a tough game because they are a good football team but it's a team we look forward to playing and challenging ourselves against and it's a game which will provide good entertainment for both sets of supporters."
The teams played out a 1-1 draw at Maginn Park recently and Shiels is expecting another close encounter.
"I think it's similar to Maginn in terms of size so it will suit us the way we play," he continued.
"We must make sure we have got good organisation against the ball and we're going to try and win so if we can combine those features, we have a chance of doing well down there."
Tonight's game is the beginning of a difficult schedule for Derry City who have games against Shamrock Rovers, Dundalk and Drogheda United on the horizon.
But Shiels is not looking beyond Markets Field.
"We don't look beyond that because if you look too far into the future you become confused," he said.
"In football, you can't look beyond your next game because it's so volatile.
"You can dominate a game and lose it or you can come off with a sneaky 1-0, football's like that. You can't look too far ahead."