The Tribesmen will be looking to gain some ground on Shelbourne when they host the Reds at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
Galway are ten points behind Shels coming into the final third of the season and a win on Friday is needed to give the side any shot at catching the Dublin side before the end of the season.
John Caulfield’s men are looking to bounce back after a tough loss to Cork City last week when they lost 3-2 in front of 800 fans.
They came from behind twice courtesy of goals from Wilson Waweru and Killian Brouder but City grabbed a winner ten minutes from time to cost the home side ground in the title race.
United’s last time out against Shelbourne saw them beaten 4-0 at Tolka Park in one of the lowest moments of their season and their manager is hoping the side will have something to celebrate tomorrow night.
“It is another huge game, this league is always exciting and the playoff spots will go down to the wire,” Caulfield told the club’s media team.
“We have to try and bounce back after a disappointing result against Cork. It will be great having the home crowd again; hopefully we can give them something to celebrate on Friday night.
“All our focus and energy this week has gone into giving a performance against Shelbourne.”
Galway will assess Conor O’Keeffe, Stephen Walsh and Maurice Nugent before the game with the trio picking up knocks during last Friday night’s game.
Ian Morris’ side are cruising at this stage of the First Division campaign having not lost a single game as they begin the final third of the season.
A win on Friday night would put them further out of reach of Galway and with a 4-0 win under their belts against the Tribesmen the Dublin side will feel they are capable of getting another three points this week.
Last week Shels drew with UCD, but with Galway’s loss they managed to increase the points difference between the sides slightly.
With a number of players returning Reds are in a strong position coming to the west on Friday.
“Everyone knows it’s a big game but we are preparing the same, keeping our routine going but I’ve been impressed by the intensity in training this week,” Morris said, speaking to the club’s media team.
“It’s good to have bodies back and it’s been fantastic to see players working together well.”
Michael O’Connor is suspended for the trip to Galway which will be a big blow to Ian Morris, while Gerardo Bruna remains absent due to a long term injury.
Referee: Alan Patchell
Shelbourne have a great record against Galway United in recent years having last suffered a loss to the Tribesmen in 2014. Since then the Reds have won seven and drawn once against Galway.
The Reds are unbeaten after 18 games in the First Division this season.
United are ten points behind Shelbourne in the race for the First Division title.
Galway United 13/8; Draw 23/10; Shelbourne 7/5.
Galway United 1–1 Shelbourne
Injured: Francely Lomboto, Ronan Manning, Carlton Ubaezuonu.
Doubtful: Conor O’Keeffe, Maurice Nugent, Stephen Walsh.
Injured: Gerardo Bruna.
Suspended: Michael O’Connor.