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With three slots to play for and six teams still in contention, once again the Indian Premier League has been a mouth-watering battle between the top T20 franchises in the world. The 48th match of the IPL 2021 is set to take place between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, this Sunday.

The double-header Sunday will be followed by the Kolkata Knight Riders taking on the bottom dwellers Sunrisers Hyderabad. 

RCB, who find themselves placed 3rd in the points table can ensure a top-four finish by defeating the Punjab side. While for KL Rahul and Co. this contest stands to be a do-or-die contest as a defeat here could see them out of the contentions for the playoffs.

The last time around when the two sides met it was the Punjab kings who got the better of the Bangalore side by a margin of 34 runs. Can they replicate the performance? Or will the Bangalore side turn out to be too hot?

Match Toss Time: 13:30 Local (15:00 IST)

Match Start Time: 14:00 Local (15:30 IST)

Match Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

Head to head

Matches played: 27, Royal Challengers Bangalore: 12, Punjab Kings: 15

Weather conditions and pitch

RCB vs PBKS weather and pitch

Team News

The decision to replace Kyle Jamieson with the English all-rounder Geroge Garton did turn out to be a decent one. With so much at stake, the Bangalore side would not be looking to fiddle with the winning combination.

The Punjab Kings definitely look depleted with their star player Chris Gayle pulling out of the tournament. However, the inclusion of Sharukh Khan did benefit the team as he helped them overhaul the KKR side by playing a cameo of 22 off 9 balls. We do not expect any changes in the Punjab side as well.

Probable playing Xl

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat (wk), Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Daniel Christian, George Garton, Shahbaz Ahmed, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

Punjab Kings (PBKS): KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Deepak Hooda, Fabian Allen, Nathan Ellis, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh

Must picks

The Punjab Kings’ skipper KL Rahul, who currently holds the orange cap is definitely the player every fantasy team should have. Glenn Maxwell of RCB too can provide you the important points as if he fails to do it with the bat, he could deliver with the ball.

Opener Devdutt Padikkal and in-form Yuzvendra Chahal are the other two must-picks in your fantasy lineup.

RCB vs PBKS fantasy team

RCB vs PBKS fantasy team IPL
Cricwizz fantasy team

Captain and Vice-Captain picks

KL Rahul Glenn Maxwell RCB vs PBKS
KL Rahul (C) and Glenn Maxwell (Vc)

Prediction

The Punjab side are once again heavily dependent on their openers and the innings of Sharukh Khan at the lower middle-order would come as a huge relief to the PBKS. However, RCB looks solid in all three departments and it would take something special for KL Rahul and Agarwal if they are to stay alive in the tournament.

Cricwizz predicts Royal Challengers Bangalore to win the match and cement their place at the 3rd spot.

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