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Unpredictable Puneri Paltan clash with subdued Dabang Delhi.
Puneri Paltan will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: The Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel and Convention CentreBet Now
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The Paltan is the only team in the league who’ve not earned a single tie so far. An oddity considering the trend of this season. With 5 wins and 7 losses, the Paltans won’t be too happy with their table position, but their recent display versus Bengaluru Bulls was unbelievable and simply sensational. They are a maverick bunch of players who beat the best on a given day but lose on other days due to their own errors.
Dabang Delhi on the other hand has continued their league form from last season. With 7 wins and just 2 losses from their 12 games, they stand first with a 2 point lead over second-placed Bengaluru. Delhi also has a game in hand, so they will look to push their lead to 7 points. But Dabang Delhi has hit a double speed breaker recently when Naveen and Joginder Narwal could not play a few games. They look completely handicapped with these two and the Paltan will hope that they can exploit this situation.
The Paltan may have an inexperienced squad but they’ve shown us glimpses that they can prove to be a menace to the big teams.
Their recent performance against the Bengaluru Bulls was a tactical master-class. Keeping Pawan Kumar off the mat for so long was a tactic brilliantly executed by coach Anup Kumar. Defender Sombir managed to get a High 5 executing 5 out of his 7 tackles successfully. Conceding just 5 raid points to in-form Pawan Kumar was genius from the Paltan as they left him space for a bonus before going in for the tackle. This tactic was executed in supreme fashion 7 times giving Pawan just 41% success in his raids.
Young raider Mohit Goyat was the star performer as he scored 13 points. Pune’s leading raider Aslam Inamdar scored just 6 points but these came at crucial points in the game.
Lack of experience in attack means that Pune has no raider in the top 10 of the league for most raid points scored. Aslam ranked 11th has just 80 points from his 12 games. Mohit ranks 21st with 58 raid points.
The Paltan has been involved in some of the high-scoring games this season. Having inflicted 15 all-outs, they rank 3rd in that particular stat. But they also have conceded 18 all-outs which is the highest in the league.
Coach Anup Kumar will have to motivate his wards and share trade secrets from his playing days. Paltan can do with more bonus points during raids. They will need to come up with a similar plan versus Naveen Kumar (if he plays) as they did for hi-flyer Pawan Sehrawat.
The table-toppers started off the season in fine fashion but have faced a few bumps recently. Having lost 3 games in their last 5 and holding a negative score difference of -1 is not something they would have wanted.
They rely heavily on star player Naveen Kumar, and his absence has been felt in the last two games. Delhi looked like they had fixed their leaks after consecutive wins in the northern derby versus the Patna Pirates. But a second meeting versus the Haryana Steelers in a span of one week, saw them lose their third match of the season.
Experienced players like Jeeva Kumar and Manjeet Chillar were sloppy against the Steelers, conceding mistakes that led to Vikash Khandola scoring 9 raid points along with his four bonus ones.
Delhi has a 43.89 % raid success rate. They rank second in the league in this stat and will look to maintain that. Joginder Narwal and Naveen Kumar’s absence is duly felt and they will look to get them back on the mat soon.
While Delhi has shown great raiding numbers, they rank lowest when it comes to tackle points. Scoring just 89 tackle points in the 12 games, they rank below Gujarat Fortune Giants who have scored 8 more points in just 11 games.
All Rounder Vijay Malik needs more support from the others as his form has improved in recent weeks.
Delhi has faltered in recent week and are looking for contingency plans. Puneri Paltan on the other hand is just playing spoilsport for the teams ranking high in the table. Anup Kumar’s young guns could pull off an upset if they execute their plans right from the first minute, similar to how they did against the Bengaluru Bulls.
This could be a high-scoring game with both teams struggling with their defense at the moment. Delhi’s experience might just prove to be an advantage as they might pull off a closely contested win. The biggest challenge for Dabang Delhi is to get both Naveen Express and left corner Joginder Narwal back on track. Without them, they are not the same Dabang we have seen earlier in the season. With the chinks in the armor exposed, Delhi will have a tough time countering the Paltan who like to beat bigger sides if it's their day. Puneri Paltan will expect that they have a good day at the office.
Puneri Paltan will win.
150% up to ₹30,000 - Code: BTS