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Defending Champions take on struggling Pink Panthers.
Bengal Warriors will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: The Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel and Convention CentreBet Now
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The 6th placed Bengal Warriors take on the 7th placed Jaipur Pink Panthers in a clash of the former champions. Both teams have done fairly well in their recent weeks, with Bengal picking up 3 wins in their last 5 games and Jaipur losing just 1 in their 5. Bengal Warriors started off well but then lost their way somewhere after their second game. But they have done well in their last few matches, with a better team balance. The Pink Panthers have won matches due to their combined efforts. Raider Arjun Deshwal has been impressive and he will be expected to break the Warrior's defense throughout the game.
The last time these two teams met, Bengal Warriors carved out a 3 point win in a closely contested battle. This game will be a contest of partners. Iranian Sultan Nabibaksh and Maninder Singh will look to overpower the Panther Duo of Arjun Deshwal and Deepak Hooda.
Scheduling issues forced Bengal Warriors to play two games in two days as they manufactured a win over the mighty Bengaluru Bulls before succumbing to UP Yoddhas in a 4 point loss.
Standing 5th on the table, the defending champions have simply not kicked off like last time. They finished second in the league table with just 5 losses in season 7, but this time they have already lost 6 games with 9 matches remaining. Maninder Singh is in red hot form after scoring 19 points in the loss versus the UP Yoddhas. He now ranks second in the league for most raid points at 165.
All-rounder Esmaeil Nabibakhsh who started off the season on fire has scored just 12 points in the last 5 games. The Warriors expect him to be back into form as they push towards the end of the season.
The Warriors have also conceded the most team points in the league at 467.
They have also conceded 15 all-outs which is the 5th highest in the league, not a stat the defending champions would want to be so high on. In their last meeting with the Pink Panthers, they were made to work hard for every point. Arjun Deshwal stole 16 points from their defense and the Warriors will look forward to trapping him cheaply.
Star raider Arjun Deshwal scored his 8th super 10 of the season against the Telugu Titans, but it wasn’t enough as the Pink Panthers lost by a point in a nail-biting finish.
Jaipur has been somewhat of a mixed bag this season. They started off slow and picked up pace after a few games. Right now, they look to be in cruising form, pushing for the playoff spots. But they have to be careful as they lose steam once in a while. Standing 7th with 32 points, they have U Mumba and Tamil Thalaivas on their tail, both at 31 points.
Thanks to Arjun Deshwal and Deepak Hooda, they have the best do-or-die raid numbers. Both players have scored 32 and 17 do-or-die raid points respectively.
The Panthers score 8.82 tackle points per game on average which is only the 8th best in the league. They will look to improve their numbers here and be more proactive versus Maninder.
The Pink Panthers have only inflicted 12 all-outs so far which is the second-lowest in the league. This is another area of concern for them.
Defender Sandeep Dhull needs to spend more time on the mat, he will be key along with all-rounder Sahul Kumar as Panthers look to improve their tackling numbers.
Bengal Warriors will look to get their 7th win of the season and move up the ladder. They have a poor point difference which stands at -30 is the second-worst in the league. It means that when the Warriors lose, they lose by a big margin and their wins are very close. They need a big win in the next few games to improve their score drastically.
Jaipur’s lack of High 5’s and all-outs inflicted means they will struggle against the likes of Maninder and Bengal might pull off a win having spent a lot of time on the court. Arjun Deshwal, Deepak Hooda, and Nitin Rawal will have to harvest raid points regularly. Jaipur will expect the combo of Shaul Kumar and Sandeep Dhull to execute lethal tackles especially against Maninder and keep the Warriors under pressure throughout the game. Maninder has been unstoppable and the Pink Panthers will try and force him off the mat for a large part of the match. That would be their only hope of winning.
Bengal Warriors will win.
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