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Struggling defending champions Bengal Warriors take on enthusiastic Haryana Steelers.
Haryana Steelers will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: The Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre, Bengaluru.Bet Now
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The defending champions are struggling in this season and after a brief comeback they have been derailed time and again. They are now placed below the Puneri Paltan at the 10th spot and may not be able to make it to the knock outs. This is surprising as King Maninder Singh has been one of the best raiders of the tournament. Haryana Steelers had mixed results in the first half of the tournament, but they recovered, rebooted and revitalized themselves as they are placed 7th in the points table after 15 games. This match will be crucial for both teams as it will set the tone towards their knock out journey.
Both teams lost unexpectedly to the Gujarat Fortune Giants in their last game and will be looking for redemption. Bengal Warriors struggled as their raiders failed to earn points while the Steelers suffered a major defensive lapse. The Steelers will be happy to have raider Meetu back to full fitness, while the Warriors will be looking forward for a good harvest from raider Maninder. This encounter is similar to a DoD raid for both teams as a loss will push them into the abyss to a point of no return.
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.
They have one of the best defence amongst all the teams with Jaideep and Surender Nada. Jaideep has executed 47 successful tackles in 15 games including 4 Hi 5’s.
Their top raider is Vikash Kandola who has earned 123 raid points in 15 games which also includes 5 Super 10’s. Raider Meetu is back after an injury break while raiders Vinay and Rohit Gulia have provided good backup support.
Their biggest strength has been executing Super Tackles and this will be very crucial when they take on the Warriors. They have executed 14 Super Tackles, the second highest this season. But at the same time they have also conceded 536 points is on the higher side. Steelers have inflicted 16 all outs while they have conceded 20 in 15 matches.
Once in a while their defense cracks under pressure and they had a mid season defense break down against the Gujarat Fortune Giants. Defenders Jaideep and Surender Nada will have to hunt in a pack so as to reduce the leakage of points. They have a great opportunity to exploit the Warriors who are vulnerable at this point in the tournament.
Hence this is expected to be a street brawl where both teams are reckless in giving points away.
This has been a heartbreaking season for the defending champions. They did not start on a positive note but came back mid season winning a few games. They have won 7 out of their 15 games and find themselves stranded at the 10th position in the points table. Even though their captain Maninder has been in phenomenal form, the Warriors have not been able to dominate the opposition. They have gone overboard leaking points throughout the season. They have conceded 523 points in 15 games along with 16 all outs. They have lost most of their games due to breakdown of their defense.
They have bolstered it with the inclusion of Vishal Mane and Ran Singh Raniya but the other defenders seem to be fatigued due to the long season.
Maninder Singh is one of the top raiders of the tournament as he has earned 187 points from 141 successful raids. He has 11 Super 10’s and he is known to bulldoze the opposition defenders at will. He is huge and unstoppable. But the supporting raiders have not been able to add to his exploits. The Warriors are dependent on raiders like Ravindra Kumavat and all-rounders like Nabibaksh. Their defense heavy strategy has not worked this time but they have not executed any contingency plans as yet.
The Warriors do not have much time to try out new combinations. They are placed 10th in the points table and they will have to win all their remaining matches to give them any hope of making it to the knock out stage.
This will be a tricky match for the Warriors.
This match will be a contest between the defending champions who have not been able to adapt to changing scenarios and the Haryana Steelers who are peaking at the right time. Though both of them lost their last game to the Gujarat Fortune Giants, the Warriors have more issues at hand to sort out. They are heavily dependent on Maninder with no other back source of raiding income. They are defense heavy and when their defenders fail to hunt, the team suffers a chronic loss. The Haryana Steelers have sorted out most of their issues, with the only concern being the frequency of their defensive lapses. Raider Meetu is back to support Vikash Kandola and defenders Jaipdeep and Surender Nada will relook at their mistakes committed in earlier games. This will be a tough game for the Warriors.
Haryana Steelers will win.
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