At the end of the first half of the league stage, two teams were certain to reach the playoffs - defending champions Mumbai Indians and a balanced Delhi Capitals side. Both donned a daunting batting lineup and had an equally threatening bowling attack that helped them secure the top two places at the end of their first seven games. But while Mumbai Indians have already made it to the knockouts, Delhi seemed to have run out of steam, having lost three in a row.
By virtue of Chennai Super Kings' ravishing win against Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai qualified for the playoff, with their main concern now on the top two spots. They presently sit at top of the table with 16 points from with an excellent net run rate (NRR). But in a bid to consolidate their position, they need to defeat Delhi, which would in turn hurt their chances of reaching the next round of IPL 2020.
After the first half, they struggled to win against CSK before losing to Kings XI Punjab, KKR and Sunrisers Hyderabad, which have pushed them down to the third spot with 14 points from 12 games
Delhi will hence be looking at the Mumbai game and their last match - against RCB- as a must-win tie. If they lose both, a red-hot Kings XI might go past them in the table on the basis of a stronger NRR even if they finish with 14 points in the league stage.
Going by paper, MI definitely have a clear-cut edge over DC and having confirmed their last four berth, the title holders would be playing without any pressure.
Regular skipper Rohit Sharma, who missed the last three games due to a left-leg hamstring injury, is unlikely to take the field again on Saturday, but there is no substantial word from the MI management in this regard yet.
While MI had roared back to form after thrashing RCB by five-wickets in the last game, there are problems aplenty for DC.
MI are unlikely to tinker with the playing XI, with their top-order firing on all cylinders.
Quinton De Kock would be hoping to continue his sublime form despite a rare failure against RCB and so would Ishan Kishan, who has been a revelation.
Suryakumar Yadav, who was ignored for India's tour of Australia despite his scintillating form this season, made a statement with a match-winning 79 against RCB the other day.
He along with De Kock and Kishan can take any attack to cleaners. Saurabh Tiwary though needs to convert his starts into big scores, while Hardik Pandya, stand-in captain Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya are known for their six-hitting prowess.
MI bowlers made a spectacular comeback against RCB after the hammering they received against Rajasthan Royals.
Jasprit Bumrah (20 wickets) and Trent Boult (17 wickets) have been lethal both upfront and at the death, while James Pattinson (11 wickets) and spin duo of Rahul Chahar (14 wickets) and Krunal (5 wickets) has provided great support in the middle overs.
DC, on the other hand, need to pull up their socks quickly after a hat-trick of defeats.
Their batsmen crumbled under pressure against SRH in their last game and were bundled out for 131 while chasing an imposing 220-run target.
Shikhar Dhawan(471 runs) has been in blazing form for DC, with two centuries but needs support from the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, who has replaced Prithvi Shaw, skipper Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis.
The South African pace duo of Kagiso Rabada (23 wickets) and Anrich Nortje (15) have been exceptional for DC, barring an off day for the latter against SRH.
Tushar Deshpande and Ravichandran Ashwin have been erratic off late and need to come good.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, James Pattison, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Prince Balwant Rai, Quinton De Kock, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult.
Delhi Capitals: Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (C), Kagiso Rabada, Marcus Stoinis, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Alex Carey, Mohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, Lalit Yadav, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Tushar Deshpande, Rishabh Pant, Harshal Patel, Keemo Paul, Pravin Dubey, Anrich Nortje, Daniel Sams.
Match starts at 3.30 PM IST.
(with PTI inputs)