Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)
Both Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals have occupied the top-two positions in the points table for quite some time now. However, after a solid beginning, they have faltered in their last few games. While Super Kings lost their first game in 11 matches in Chennai, a streak that goes back to 2013 (they didn't play any of their home games here last year), a few defeats and washed-out games have hurt Royals' momentum.
With four teams hot on their trail, either side would want to maintain as much daylight as they can between them and the others. Despite the defeat to Mumbai Indians, Super Kings shouldn't feel too perturbed. They have ticked most of the boxes: R Ashwin is back to boost the spin department, and with Pawan Negi shoring up the late-order hitting, a problem area, if not entirely rectified, has been addressed. Super Kings would look to sign off with a win in their last home game of the season.
Royals, too, haven't resorted to the compulsive experimentation that affected them last year, freezing in on more or less their best XI. A convincing victory over Super Kings in their first meeting
will give them confidence going into this match where they will have to contend with a noisy, partisan crowd. The weather reading forecasts another hot evening in Chepauk.
Chennai Super Kings LWLLW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Rajasthan Royals LWLLL
The Super Kings management has continued to throw its weight behind Ravindra Jadeja, who hasn't had a great run in the IPL. While he hasn't done enough with the bat, he is a useful bowling option, especially on the MA Chidambaram Stadium pitch . If he comes good with the bat as well, that can only be a bonus for Super Kings ahead of the Playoffs.
Deepak Hooda hasn't had much to do after a bright start to the tournament. The wicket here, besides aiding his fastish offbreaks, will give him a chance to flex his batting muscles. But the likes of Ashish Nehra and Ashwin won't make life easy for him.
"That's the beauty of hindsight. It was a different combination today and we were learning some things about our team going forward."
Stephen Fleming after the loss to Mumbai Indians