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Chance for the Bengal Warriors to get even with the Paltan.
Puneri Paltan will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, PuneBet Now
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A contest between one of the best teams and an underperforming one is always going to be exciting. The Puneri Paltan is galloping away this season while the Bengal Warriors are still stuck with hiccups.
The Paltan is placed 2nd in the points table while the Bengal Warriors are still struggling to make a cut in the top 6. The Warriors have not lost any of their last 4 games while the Puneri Paltan has lost a bit of speed while cruising on the highway.
The Paltan defeated the Warriors earlier in the season but it was a close match. That was a low scoring affair where both teams tried to outplay each other by regulating the pace of the game. That match saw both teams conducting empty raids and gambling on the DoD. But a lot has changed since then for both teams. The Bengal Warriors thrashed the Gujarat Fortune Giants in their last game while the Paltan was unlucky to lose to arch-rivals U Mumba by just 1 point.
This match will be a chance for the Warriors to pay back but the Puneri “Mandali” will certainly make plans to trap the Warriors on the Paltan’s home turf.
Nothing is more common than talented hardworking men underperforming. This has been the story of the Bengal Warriors. They have all the ammunition to blast opponents but the Warriors have misfired on various occasions. They find themselves at the 7th spot in the points table after playing 12 games.
They have oscillated between pedestrian performances and unbelievable victories. They beat the Gujarat Fortune Giants in their last game. The Bengal Warriors displayed maturity and tactical dominance in that game. Earlier the Warriors settled for a TIE against the Tamil Thalaiva and then beat the Fortune Giants in their first encounter with them this season. Post this success, the Warriors escaped with a TIE against the UP Yodha. This was a match that they saved from a losing position.
The “Smiling Assassin” Maninder has been the key to their success. He has earned 133 raid points from 100 successful raids this season. Left corner Girish Ernak has been the jewel in their crown with 35 successful tackles.
All-rounder Deepak Hooda and raider Shrikant Jadhav have been impressive while defenders Saktivel and Vaibhav Garje have been solid in their tackles. Then why do the Warriors still struggle to win games?
The inconsistency of defenders and losing momentum during the game have been the main reasons. They were slow to take off in their match against the Tamil Thalaiva. They conceded 2 all-outs in the first half and were trailing by 12 points at halftime. They worked overtime to save the match and settle for a TIE.
Similarly against the UP Yodha, they trailed by 10 points in the first half which was also a result of 2 all-out conceded. The Warriors worked overtime again in the second half and saved the match due to some unforced errors by the Yodha. But the Warriors cannot win games with this strategy. They need to dominate games and work on their strengths. They lost to the Puneri Paltan earlier in the season and this match will serve as an opportunity to seek vengeance.
The Paltan has entertained its fans with some mind-blowing performances. They have played as a team and decimated their opponents with ease. They are placed 2nd in the points table after playing 13 games. They have a bunch of talented players led by the shrewd Fazel Attrachali.
Though they lost their last game to arch-rivals U Mumba by a solitary point, they are pretty much on course to qualify for the playoff. The repeat of the Maharastra derby was one of the most memorable matches of the season. The Paltan was unfortunate to lose the game.
The Paltan lost its intensity in the second half where they could not execute tackles successfully. Fazel Attrachali and Sombir could not earn any tackle points in that match. But the Paltan will be ready to take on the Bengal Warriors in their next game. They had beaten the Warriors earlier in the season in a low-scoring encounter.
Raiders Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat have been the pillars of the Puneri Paltan. Both have collectively earned 185 raid points in 13 games.
Captain Fazel Attrachali has executed 34 successful tackles in 11 games. His lone wolf tackle on Yodha raider Surender Gill is one of the highlights of the season where he pulled Surender back single-handedly from the mid-line with a dangerous waist hold.
The Paltan has inflicted 17 all-outs while conceding 14 in 13 games. They need to improve on these numbers as it will give them an edge over their opponents.
The Puneri Paltan also needs to improve its record of collecting bonus points as well as DoD raid points. They have earned just 39 DoD raid points this season.
The Paltan will be up against a rejuvenated Bengal Warriors who thrashed the Fortune Giants in their last game. The Paltan will expect its defense to perform in this game as a loss will hamper their chances for the play-off. They had conned the Warriors in the last game with specific tactics and the Paltan will need to plan for a heist in this match too.
This match will be a test for both teams. While the Bengal Warriors have momentum after winning their last game, they will need to make sure they do not lose their intensity against the Paltan. Similarly, the Puneri Paltan seems to have missed an important turn in their journey.
Smiling Assassin Maninder Singh will score well for the Warriors but he may not be able to score big. Deepak Hooda’s aggression will help the Bengal Warriors. Defender Girish will play well but Shumbham Shinde and Vaibhav Garje may be involved in unforced errors.
The Puneri unleash Mohit Goyat and Aslam Inamdar on the Warriors. But it will be Captain Fazel Attrachali and defender Sombir who will play a crucial role for the Paltan. Defenders Abhinesh and Sanket Sawant will pull off exciting tackles, especially in the second half. But Nabibaksh will be the weak link in the Puneri camp.
This will be a high-scoring game with the second half witnessing total aggression from both teams.
Puneri Paltan will win.
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