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Arch rivals clash in the Western derby.
Puneri Paltan will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Arena by TransstadiaBet Now
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U Mumba will be disappointed and tired after losing to the Gujarat Giants in their last match. This was a game which went down the wire. Ideally this should have been a TIE, but U Mumba made a silly mistake in their penultimate raid which cost them the match. They will have to regroup quickly as they take on arch rivals Puneri Paltan.
On the other hand, the Paltan started season 10 with a victory over defending champions Jaipur Pink Panthers. They got a bit of revenge for their loss in the finals of season 9. Both teams are tactically equipped. U Mumba is coached by Iranian Gholamreza while the Paltan is being guided by the experienced B C Ramesh.
Both teams have young raiders who have their unique style. Mumba has pressed in young Iranian Zafardanesh while the Paltan has Aslam Inamdar spearheading their raiding. Pune have Mohit Goyat to complement Aslam, while U Mumba seems to be lacking in that area. The biggest difference between the teams is the presence of left corner Mohammedreza for the Puneri Paltan who seems to get better and deadly with every season.
Runners-up of season 9 made an ideal start to the new season as they beat the Jaipur Pink Panthers in style. Captain Aslam Inamdar scored a Super 10 while his partner in crime, Mohit Goyat scored 8 points. Hence they were able to compensate for Jaipur raider Arjun Deshwal’s 17 point blast.
The Puneri Paltan seems to be tactically more confident than many other teams. They stole the show during the auctions by getting Iranian all-rounder Mohammedreza Chinayeh. This has given that extra sharpness to their defense. Mohammedreza scored 5 points in this first match for the Paltan as his ankle holds and tackles were swift and precise.
Defenders Abhinesh, Sanket Sawant and right corner Gaurav Khatri added to the fireworks against the Pink Panthers. Hence the Puneri Paltan executed a smooth take-off for season 10. They also have the options of raiders Pankaj Mohite and Aditya Shinde. Iranian defender Vahid Reza adds to the options while all-rounder Ahmed Inamdar can be used as a floater in some games. Hence the Puneri Paltan looks well prepared to take on any team in season 10.
The Paltan has enjoyed a fantastic rivalry against U Mumba over the years. Most of their encounters have been high octane and entertaining. Though the Paltan has won just 8 out of their 20 encounters, they seem to be a better team this time. Puneri raiders will plan to exploit the fragile Mumba defense which has been exposed in the first few matches.
The only issue with the Paltan is that they start almost every match on a slow-burner and then pick up pace in the second half. They trailed against the Jaipur Pink Panthers at half time and then unleased 2 all-outs in the second half. U Mumba uses a similar strategy, hence it will be interesting to see how the Paltan reciprocate.
Mumba had a great start to season 10 as they beat a strong UP Yodha in their first game. Unfortunately they lost steam in the dying moments of their match against arch-rivals Gujarat Giants and lost the match. They should have “Tied” the game, but some anxious moments in their defense cost them the match.
They will be up against the Puneri Paltan on Friday. Their rivalry with the Paltan is well known. Both teams follow a similar template in most of their games. Iranian coach Gholamreza will be disappointed with their performance against the Gujarat Giants, but he and his team have a bigger challenge ahead against the Paltan.
U Mumba beat the Puneri Paltan in their first league encounter. But that match went down the wire, as U Mumba won by just 1 point. Puneri Paltan made some basic errors in their last raid to lose the match. Mumba got a taste of their own medicine this season against the Gujarat Giants.
Raider Guman Singh and Iranian all-rounder Zafardanesh scored a Super 10 in their last game, but still Mumba struggled to fox their opponents. Currently their biggest concern is their defense. Captain Surinder Singh is prone to unforced errors while left corner Girish Ernak and right corner Rinku have been totally off color. This makes it challenging for U Mumba to strangle their opponents even when the Mumba raiders are earning handsomely.
All-rounder Visvanath was useful in the last match as he scored 3 points. But overall the U Mumba defense seems to be fragile. This weakness can be heavily exploited by all their opponents. Coach Gholamreza will be under pressure as he will have to select between an all-attack strategy or a mixed one as his defense is not very strong. He has the option of using Sombir in the left corner and Shivansh as the right cover. With the Puneri Paltan in hot form, U Mumba will be under tremendous pressure to get their act right.
As the arch-rivals get ready to battle it out, sparks are expected to fly from the first raid itself. U Mumba will be eager to make a comeback after they lost their match against Gujarat Giants. Raiders Guman Singh and Zafardanesh have combined well to earn Super 10’s. One of them will score a Super 10 against the Paltan. Left cover Mahender Singh will be aggressive against the Puneri raiders. But he will need the support of right corner Rinku Singh. U Mumba will try and avoid unforced errors especially from Captain Surinder Singh. Unfortunately, they have to face a trio of Puneri raiders. This will be a tough match for U Mumba.
The Puneri Paltan is working like a well-oiled machine. Captain Aslam Inamdar is in hot form along with this partners Mohit Goyat and Pankaj Mohite. Left corner Mohammedreza will target Mumba raider and countryman Zafardanesh. Covers Abhinesh and Sanket Sawant will combine well to trouble U Mumba through the match. Both teams may play cautiously through the first half, only to intensify their attack post halftime.
This will be the toughest test for U Mumba as they are prone to errors. Puneri Paltan will dominate the match.
Puneri Paltan will win.
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