Two sides vying for third spot in the IPL table meet at Eden Gardens. Richard O'Hagan believes that recent form should favour the visitors...
"Kolkata are firm favourites at 1.654/6, but odds of 2.35/4 look very generous to a Sunrisers team who look to be coming into some form and who were comfortable winners when the two sides met a fortnight ago."
Kolkata Knight Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad
Monday, 15:30 BST
Live on Sky Sports 2
Kolkata Knight Riders
Defeat in a ten over thrash in Bangalore on Saturday pulled Kolkata back into the chasing pack of this season's IPL, now with just four wins from their nine games. That puts pressure on them to do well in their remaining home fixtures, which they have just three of after today, if they want to be sure of reaching this year's post-season.
Kolkata's recent results have very much hinged upon Robin Uthappa. When the wicketkeeper-batsman does well, they usually win; when he doesn't, it is usually downhill all the way from his spot at the top of the order. One problem is that, unlike other IPL sides, Kolkata don't place a lot of store upon really big hitters batting from the outset, which means that if Uthappa and Gautham Gambhir don't come off, or if they take time to get going, it is a struggle for the other batsmen.
Moreover, the likes of Andre Russell are brilliant on their day, but only come off occasionally. The Knight Riders have made a virtue out of playing with a settled side, so don't expect any of this to change, but it is something to be wary of if looking to back them.
A fine win over table-topping Chennai on Saturday has brought Hyderabad right into the race for an end of season spot and a win today could catapult David Warner's side into second place.
Warner was the inspiration behind that win, holding together the batting performance as others stuttered around him, and then showing some decisive captaincy in the field to reign in the opposition after four expensive overs from Trent Boult - replacing the rested Dale Steyn - threatened to allow Chennai to get home easily. Steyn and Kane Williamson should return for this game, with Boult and Eoin Morgan stepping down, as Hyderabad continue their policy of rotating the three foreigners allowed to play alongside Warner.
Venue and Conditions
Every game at Eden Gardens this season has been won by the team batting second, with a total of 170 appearing to be the absolute minimum that anyone should achieve here. With a hot and dry evening forecast in Kolkata there is no reason to think that things will be any different this time around.
Kolkata are firm favourites at 1.654/6, but odds of 2.35/4 look very generous to a Sunrisers team who look to be coming into some form and who were comfortable winners when the two sides met a fortnight ago. Given that record of the side batting second winning, it might be wise to wait until after the toss before deciding who to follow in this market.
Top Kolkata Batsman
The odds on Uthappa will not be great, but he is the man in form for the Knight Riders and he made an unbeaten 80 the last time he batted here, less than a week ago. He'll be the man to back at anything over 4.216/5.
Top Hyderabad Batsman
Warner's decent innings last time out will push his odds down, but he doesn't often string two big innings together in the IPL. Instead, take advantage of that fact and back his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan at anything over 4.3100/30.
Back Shikhar Dhawan to be top Hyderabad batsman at odds of over 4.3100/30
Richard's IPL2015 P/L