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Supercharged Puneri Paltan take on subdued Telegu Titans.
Puneri Paltan will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: The Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Centre, Bengaluru.Bet Now
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This season of Pro Kabaddi has been full of drama, tragedy, comedy and heartbreaks. While the stocks of Puneri Paltan were not being traded at the kabaddi stock exchange, destiny has scripted something else for them. They have found their mojo and look much more dangerous than the top 3 teams. Though Puneri Paltan is placed 9th in the points table, they have 4 more games after they take on the Titans. They have lost just 1 out of their last 5 games and they have become giant-killers. On the other hand, the Telegu Titans have accepted their fate and have started playing for pride. They lost to the Gujarat Fortune Giants in the last game after giving a good fight. Now they face the Paltan who is looking like a fire breathing dragon. Once neighbour’s in the points table, the Paltan has moved ahead in kabaddi while the Titans are left licking their wounds.
These two sides met last year on Chrishtmas eve where the Puneri Paltan beat the Titans by just 1 point. This will be the time for redemption for the Titans but do they have enough firepower to stop the blazing Paltan?
The Telegu Titans have had a torrid time this season. They have tried hard to do everything within their realm but destiny had something else for them. They were destined to entertain their fans but not win matches. After toiling hard for 18 games, the Titans have won just 1 match and have occupied the last bench for more or less the whole season. They now believe in the fact that “Full effort is Full victory”. They have pride to play for as they take on the Puneri Paltan. Though the Titans have not won a single game out of their last 5 games, they have been able to TIE 2 of them. They tied games with the Bengal Warriors and Haryana Steelers. They should have won both the games but ran out of breath. They can still entertain their fans as they have 3 more games after this clash.
Raiders Ankit Beniwal, Rajneesh, Galla Raju have efficiently earned throughout the season. But they do not have a star raider who can pinch the opposition. Post the non availability of Siddharth Desai and Rohit Kumar, the Titans have been like kids without any patronage.
They now play with 2 left corners- Sandeep Kandola and T Adarsh who also doubles up as a raider. The Telegu Titans have come close to beating top sides but they have lost the match by a margin of 1 or 2 points. This has hurt them throughout the season.
Titans have conceded 25 all-outs as well as 668 points in all. Their DoD earnings are also low and these are the areas they need to work on for the remaining games.
Adversity has created new bonds among the team where they keep fighting each battle only to lose. But they will be fired up against the Paltan as they were neighbors once at the bottom of the points table. Puneri Paltan is in hot blazing form and the thought of beating them will give the Titans some motivation.
One of the finest team combinations on paper, Puneri Paltan failed to impress in their opening game. They continued their ordinary performance for most of the season pushing them down in the points table. But in the last few weeks, they have suddenly found the right combination and they are firing on all cylinders. They have won 4 out of their last 5 games and most of these victories were stingy. They beat the Haryana Steelers, U Mumba, UP Yodha and their biggest victory came against Dabang Delhi. This has been a daring comeback by the Paltan who may just overtake other teams in the race to the knock-outs.
They will be playing their 3rd game in 3 days. But this does not deter youngsters like Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat who have looted points as well as hunted opposition raiders. While Aslam Inamdar has displayed some ferocious ankle holds, he has also 119 raid points in 17 games that he has played. Mohit Goyat has 106 raid points in the 15 games he has played. Both are supported by veteran Nitin Tomar who adds the spice to his raids.
The biggest improvement for the Paltan has come in their defence. Defenders Sombir and Abhinesh have improved their sharpness and hunting skills, which helps the Paltan to exploit their raiding income to dominate the opposition. Defender Sombir was at his best against the Haryana Steelers in the last match as he single-handedly neutralized Vikash Kandola. The Paltan has a great opportunity to beat the struggling Telegu Titans and move up the points table. If they beat the Titans they may jump up to the 6th or 7th position with 4 more games at their disposal. Star raider Rahul Chaudhari has also made a comeback after a dismal first half of the season. If he gets going, stopping the Paltan will be impossible.
Though both teams are at the bottom half of the points table, the Puneri Paltan has overcome mental blocks and they are zooming past every opponent. Their raiders have revitalized their prospects by a significant increase in their earnings. Aslam Inamdar, Mohit Goyat, Nitin Tomar and Rahul Chaudhari are the new fab four. The Telegu Titans can only hope that the Paltan has a bad day at the office. Their raiders are earning well, but the Titans will be concerned about their inconsistent defence. They came close to beating the Puneri Paltan but that was last year in the initial stage of the tournament. Titans are playing for pride but they can also play spoil sport with other teams. The Titan defence looks weak against Aslam and Mohit Goyat. Puneri defender Sombir and Abhinesh may be too hot to handle for the Titan raiders. But this season has unravelled many surprises and upsets. But it looks like the Paltan has already scripted its journey to the play-off.
Puneri Paltan will win.
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