Waterford and Galway United clash tonight in a match to decide the opponent for UCD side in the SSE Airtricity League promotion/relegation play-off.

After overcoming teams below them in the table in the first stage in high-scoring affairs, the second and third placed First Division teams meet in the neutral venue of the Market's Field in Limerick.

That has been a controversial choice given it has just 1,500 seats, albeit it’s the most sensible in terms of travel.

If momentum is a factor, Waterford hold all the aces this evening. The second half of their season has been littered with wins and a run to the FAI Cup semi-finals.

United fell apart in the final part of the league, with just two wins in 11 matches.

However, they produced at a vital time last week, clinching a 3-0 win over Longford Town in the second leg at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Pheonix Patterson took his league tally to 20 goals in 33 games this campaign – a stunning return for the wide attacking player – when netting three of the seven goals Waterford scored against Treaty United in their semi-final games.

It sets up a fascinating clash between the Blues who will be considered favourites and John Caulfield’s Galway who could cause a shock if finding their early season form.

Galway boss John Caulfield

"It's a big game, and we will have a big travelling support," said Caulfield.

"Waterford have been the form team for the second half of the season since the takeover by Fleetwood Town owner Andy Pilley.

"The appointment of Danny Searle from England has had a significant effect, plus the recruitment of many English-based players at the break.

"Alex Baptiste, Raúl Uche and Wassim Aouachria joined the quality players that were already there, Patterson, Junior and Taylor, which gives them a lot of experience from playing in the English leagues. However, we are very much looking forward to the game."

Roland Idowu misses out for Waterford having picked up an injury in last month's cup defeat to Shelbourne.

But Searle is hoping his team can produce one more big display to keep their promotion hopes alive.

"This is basically cup football," he said.

"Form goes out the window and the team who turns up more often than not will progress. We need to be on it from the first whistle like we were last week against Treaty United and really get our fans behind us again like we know they will be.

"Galway had the upper hand over the league games and they’ll be more than up for this game. They’re always organised, are a big physical team and look to get forward.

"That said, we’re focussed on ourselves. We can control what we do on and off the ball and that’s what we’ve looked at coming into the game. We can’t control external factors but we know we are a good side and can put it up to any team on their day."

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