A decade on from when Bohemians and Shels slugged it out for Premier Division titles, the Dublin rivals square up at Dalymount Park in a real relegation scrap, bottom side Shels hoping to cut short the eight-point lead which Bohs hold over them.
This fixture would always have been a big deal for midfielder Cronin, but tonight's clash is even more important as the Reds skipper is hoping to start a game for the first time since the opening game of the season at Bray.
Suffering with a foot injury in pre-season, Cronin lasted only 45 minutes of the March 8 opener, and has endured a frustrating rehab period since then, coming on as a sub in last week's defeat to Derry City.
But he's in line to start against Bohs.
"After being out for so long I want to play as much as I can," he said.
"There's so much riding on this game at Dalymount tonight that I will do all I can to get into the team and play my part.
"It's amazing to think that Bohs are playing Shels in a relegation battle but that's where we are now, the table doesn't lie.
"Of course, I want Shels to stay up, Shels stayed in the First Division for way too long to go back there again.
"I think we can go to Dalymount tonight, get a result and start moving up the table.
"But I still have a lot of affection for Bohs from the time I spent there so I'd hate to see them get relegated.
"The ideal scenario is that both clubs can lift their form and someone else can get dragged back down there."