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The Warriors from the East take on the Giants of the West.
Bengal Warriors will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, PuneBet Now
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This encounter can be considered a clash between struggling teams. Both teams look unbeatable on a given day while on others they struggle to catch up with their opponents.
Bengal Warriors will consider themselves lucky to have forced a tie against the UP Yodha in their last game. They were trailing by 10 points at the end of the first half. But it was the raw power of Maninder Singh that rescued the Warriors from a big defeat. He unleashed some unbelievable Super raids in the dying moments of the match to get his team to share the honors.
The Gujarat Fortune Giants too scored an upset by beating the in-form Bengaluru Bulls by a margin of 2 points. They too would have settled for a TIE had the Bulls shown some urgency and creativity in their last few raids. But the Fortune Giants got their golden boy Prateek to score a Super raid and turn the tide on the Bulls.
This will be an interesting encounter as both teams are known to start slowly and then raise the bar in the second half. Both teams need to win every game from here hence the intensity will be directly proportional to their desperation.
It is hard to digest the fact that the Bengal Warriors are still struggling in the season even though they have one of the best raiders and the best defender of the season. Captain Maninder Singh has been devastating in most games earning 121 raid points from 11 games. Left corner Girish Ernak has hunted with pride as he has executed 35 successful tackles in 11 matches.
Then what is the reason for the constant struggle for the Warriors? It is the lack of intensity and occasional breakdown of their defense. Raiders Shrikant Jadhav and all-rounder Deepak Niwas Hooda have been in great touch. But defenders like Vaibhav Garje, Shubham Shinde, and all-rounder Balaji haven’t been consistent.
Also, the Warriors start quite slowly in the first half and then desperately try to recover in the second half. This has been a regular feature. They faltered similarly against the Tamil Thalaiva in a game that ended in a TIE. The Bengal Warriors could not score a single tackle point in the first half and they were behind by 12 points during the break. Antics by Maninder and Deepak Hooda helped them recover quickly in the second half and they were able to inflict a couple of all-outs. That saved the day for the Warriors.
Unfortunately, they have not been able to find answers to these questions. The current situation will make them sitting ducks as their opponents, the Gujarat Fortune Giants will exploit this to the limit.
The Bengal Warriors beat the Fortune Giants a few days back. It was a high-scoring game where Maninder scored 20 raid points. The Warriors from the east beat the Giants from the west. The Bengal Warriors will remind themselves of this win as they take on the Fortune Giants once again.
The Gujarat Fortune Giants have displayed shades of capacity. They have a fantastic group of players but the Fortune Giants have been inconsistent and unpredictable. They are placed 9th in the points table after playing 11 matches.
The Fortune Giants have not been able to operate at maximum efficiency. They seem to be vibrant in their raids but their defense has been brittle. Time and again they have given away points as their defense has not been precise and lethal. They lost to the Patna Pirates followed by a loss to the Bengal Warriors. The game against the Pirates was a low-scoring game while there was a burst of points against the Warriors.
Fortunately, the Fortune Giants got their act together in their next game where they beat a strong Bengaluru Bulls team in another high-scoring game. Young raider and the new Dubki king Prateek Dahiya has been the most impressive player for the Fortune Giants. He has scored 39 raid points in his last 3 games. This includes a couple of Super raids which saved the day for the Gujarat Fortune Giants.
Captain Chandran Ranjit was injured in the last game but he should be fit enough for the next. Raiders Rakesh and Mahendra Rajput have been useful during the second half of the matches. The Fortune Giants are troubled due to their weak defense. All-rounder Shankar Gadai and Sandeep Kandola have been scratchy while defender Arkam Shaikh has not been able to maintain consistency. Defender Vijin Thangadurai too has leaked points.
This makes the Gujarat Fortune Giants a one-dimensional team, heavily dependent on its raiders. They had a tough time handling the Bengal Warriors in their last encounter. The Gujarat defense had no clue about how to tackle Maninder Singh.
The Fortune Giants have been able to execute just 83 successful team tackles in 11 games which is the lowest among all the teams.
They have conceded 408 team points as well as 14 all-outs.
The Fortune Giants need to reboot urgently else their operating system will hang over the next few weeks resulting in a system crash.
The Bengal Warriors got the better of the Fortune Giants in their last face-off just a few days back. They will be pumped up to take on the Giants from the west again.
Maninder Singh will unleash his deadly raiding skills and will exploit the brittle Gujarat defense. All-rounder Deepak Niwas Hooda too will trouble the Fortune Giants. This will help the Bengal Warriors take an early lead in the match. Left corner Girish Ernak will target Gujarat raider Prateek. Right corner Shubham Shinde and right cover Vaibhav Garje are the weak links for the Bengal Warriors.
The Gujarat Fortune Giants will rely on their raiders to give them a good start. Raiders Prateek will shine again with a Super 10 while Rakesh will give him good support. The Fortune Giants will come up with plans to trap Maninder and keep him off the mat for long durations. Defender Arkam Shaikh will shine and help the Fortune Giants' defense.
This will be another high-scoring match with the Bengal Warriors repeating their winning performance.
Bengal Warriors will win.
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