Defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad will start favourites when they take on the struggling-for-survival Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League match, in Mohali, on Thursday.
The David Warner-led Hyderabad have won four out of eight games so far and have shared the points in a rain-abandoned outing against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The visitors are placed third with nine points and would certainly have the upper-hand against Kings XI Punjab, who have managed to win just three of their seven games.
KXIP's Head of cricket of operations Virender Sehwag has said that all the upcoming matches are going to be crucial for his team.
Between April 28 to May 9, KXIP will be playing four games, including against table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders and will look to exploit the home advantage.
Hyderabad have clashed with Punjab at their home ground on one occasion this season in which they secured a five-run win while defending a modest total of 159 runs.
Manan Vohra's 50-ball 95 run knock did not prove sufficient for Punjab and rest of their batting collapsed as Sunrisers' bowling mainstay Bhuvneshwar Kumar produced a magical spell of 4-0-19-5.
KXIP will take solace in the fact that opener Hashim Amla is in good form and can take the attack to the opposition camp.
KXIP scored a near 200 total (198) against the Mumbai Indians with Amla scoring a terrific hundred and skipper Glenn Maxwell also hitting some lusty blows.
Punjab produced an all-round performance in their previous outing to finally arrest their slide, beating Gujarat Lions by 26 runs on the latter's home-turf with Amla again playing a brilliant innings.
On the other side, Hyderabad, will look to maintain their consistency.
Openers David Warner (235 from 7 games) and Shikhar Dhawan (282 from 7 games) have been scoring the bulk of runs and would look to maintain their form.
Moises Henriques (193 runs), who remained unbeaten on 55 off just 28 deliveries in an earlier game against Pune, would look to continue contributing in the death overs.
Kane Williamson, who played his first match of the season against Delhi Daredevils, made 89 off 51 balls and propelled Hyderabad to their fourth win in four home matches.
Bowling has complemented Hyderabad's batsmen with seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (16 wickets) and young Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan (10 wickets) proving their mettle.
For Punjab, Yuvraj Singh and pacer Siddharth Kaul will 'feel at home' as both turn out for Punjab in the domestic cricket.
Despite starting their campaign with back-to-back victories, Kings XI slipped in the next few games and would now be desperate to get back to winning ways.
Maxwell, David Miller and Eoin Morgan along with Amla will have to come good for that revival.
"Out of the remaining seven matches, we will have to win 4-5, only then can we qualify for the playoffs," Sehwag said.
Kings XI Punjab: Glenn Maxwell (capt), David Miller, Manan Vohra, Hashim Amla, Shaun Marsh, Armaan Jaffer, Martin Guptill, Eoin Morgan, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Arman Jaffer, Anureet Singh, Mohit Sharma, KC Cariappa, Pradeep Sahu, Swapnil Singh, T Natrajan, Matt Henry, Varun Aaron, Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Gurkeerat Mann, Rahul Tewatia, Darren Sammy, Wriddhiman Saha, Nikhil Naik, Ishant Sharma.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner(Captain), Tanmay Agarwal, Ricky Bhui, Bipul Sharma, Ben Cutting, Shikhar Dhawan, Eklavya Dwivedi, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan,Siddharth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ben Laughlin, AbhimanyuMithun, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammed Siraj, Mustafizur Rahman,Ashish Nehra, Naman Ojha (wk), Rashid Khan, Vijay Shankar,Barinder Sran, Pravin Tambe, Kane Williamson and Yuvraj Singh.
Match starts 8pm