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Welcome to the Street brawl- Bengal Warriors versus Haryana Steelers.
Haryana Steelers will win this close encounter.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: The Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre, Bengaluru.Bet Now
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Bengal Warriors began their crusade of this season trouncing UP Yodha, but then their journey has not been a rosy one. They became very predictable and their defence crumbled at crucial moments. But after a hat trick of losses, they came back strongly to beat the Jaipur Pink Panthers in their last encounter, which went down to the last raid. If the double somersault celebration of Nabibaksh after trapping Arjun Deshwal is any indication, tighten your seat belts as this may indicate the resurgence of the defending champions.
On the other hand, Haryana Steelers have ticked all the right boxes, but they are not able to win matches regularly. They are like a marathoner who runs 40km with great endurance only to succumb in the last lap. They did manage a tie against U Mumba in the last match where they played really well.
Bengal Warriors are 6th in the points table with 16 points from 6 matches while the Haryana Steelers are in the 7th position with 15 points from 6 matches. But the greater worry of the Warriors is their score difference, -21 for them while the Steelers have the score difference of -15.
This will be a street brawl as emotions will run high when both teams enter the arena. “Gazel” Vikash Kandola has been very impressive for the Steelers while Maninder Singh has been unstoppable for the Warriors.
This should be a close contest as all will depend on how the Steelers tackle Maninder, but the Warriors may just have the edge as the odds with the betting sites in India are in their favour.
The defending champions have got a breathing space of 4 days before their next encounter which will help them reassess their priorities for this season. With almost half the season done, they are in the 6th position after 6 matches. They would certainly like to improve on that else it will be a close call for them in order to qualify for the playoff.
The most impressive component for the warriors has been their captain Maninder with 72 raids points in 55 successful raids. Improved fitness, exceptional leadership and raw power has helped him achieve that consistency. But they have conceded the highest points by any team this season- 221. This has been their major issue. The defence has been slippery, multiple unsuccessful advanced tackles have got them in vulnerable positions in most matches. The income is impressive via raids, but they have not been able to keep a check on their expenses.
8 all outs inflicted but 8 all outs conceded too.
20 DoD raid points achieved.
Have executed 6 Super raids but only 3 Super Tackles.
Bengal Warriors seem to have got caught up in a quandary, they are not sure whether to attack or go all out in their defence. In their last match against Jaipur Pink Panthers, they went in with just Maninder as their specialist raider, while relying on all-rounders for support. This did not earn them enough raid points.
The silver lining is that Mohammed Nabibaksh was back in true form as he scored 10 points in the match and executed the daring Super Tackle on the last raid to win the match for his team.
This will be a tricky match for the Warriors.
Steelers are like the “Musketeers", they believe in the slogan- One for all and all for one. A young, dynamic and talented bunch of players have surprised many teams with their effervescent style of play. But they find themselves in the 7th position after 6 matches with 15 points. They have only won twice this season and got a "Tie" in their last match.
They have one of the best defence amongst all the teams with Jaideep and Surender Nada earning 34 points together in 6 matches, with 3 High 5's included. Though they do not have any raider in the top 10 raiders of the season, Vikash Kandola, Meetu and Rohit Gulia have scored 116 raid points among themselves in 6 matches.
Their biggest strength has been executing Super Tackles and this will be very crucial when they take on the Warriors. They have executed 7 Super Tackles, the second-highest this season. But at the same time, they have also conceded 221 points which is the highest this season along with Bengal Warriors. Hence this is expected to be a street brawl where both teams are reckless in giving points away.
Steelers have inflicted 6 all outs while they have conceded 8 in 6 matches.
If the Steelers can plug the leaks which they have been able to do in the last couple of matches, they can prove to be a handful for the defending champions who are quite confused about their itinerary this season.
This is going to be a philanthropic contest, which team will do more charity.
While the Bengal Warriors have got a slippery defence, Haryana Steelers are the epitome of unforced errors. Maninder will be the key for the Warriors but they will hope he does not have an off day. Vikash Kandola, Meetu and Rohit Gulia look agile enough to trouble the Bengal defence. But with Nabibaksh back in form, he can single-handedly decimate any incoming raids.
If Haryana are able to recreate what they did against the Fortune Giants, they can set the cat amongst the pigeons. Increase the speed of the game, get the warriors in an uncomfortable zone, and hold on to the lead, that is the winning mantra for the Steelers.
Haryana Steelers will win this close encounter.
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