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Another Maharashtra derby of Season 10.
Puneri Paltan will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, HyderabadBet Now
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Runners-up of season 9 are one of the best teams of season 10. The Puneri Paltan has all the virtues of becoming the next champion. But they still have a long way to go before they enter the next round. They will be up against arch-rivals U Mumba in their next match. The Paltan has won 11 out of its 13 matches and that is a phenomenal record. U Mumba on the other hand has blown hot and cold through the season. Mumba is placed 7th in the points table and they have not won any of their last 5 matches. These roadblocks have made their journey very difficult.
U Mumba had a tough time against Dabang Delhi in their last match. Though raider Guman Singh scored a Super 10, the Mumba defenders could not rein in Delhi captain Ashu Malik. Mumba lost the match by a margin of 6 points. In contrast, the Puneri Paltan had an easy outing against the Gujarat Giants whom they defeated for the second time in the season. Hence this encounter between traditional rivals will be hotly contested. U Mumba will have a tough time negotiating the Paltan.
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 next 2 weeks of season 10 and currently find themselves at the 7th spot in the points table with just 6 victories out of 13 matches. 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 has not won a single game out its last 5 outings and that is a major cause of concern. They had a torrid time against Dabang Delhi in their last match. Guman Singh was aggressive as he scored 13 points but could not get the support of other raiders. The Mumba defenders were quite agile but they could not regulate Delhi captain Ashu Malik who earned 17 raid points. The other major concern with Mumba was that their players were off the mat constantly leading to new players on the mat. Captain Surinder Singh was out for almost 38 minutes while Sombir and Goklulakanna were off for almost 25 minutes. This led to U Mumba slowly losing their steam as they lost the match by a margin of 6 points. Can they take some corrective measures before they take on the Puneri Paltan? Currently their biggest concern is their defense. Captain Surinder Singh is prone to unforced errors while 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.
U Mumba has always given a tough fight to their regional rivals. They lost to the Paltan in their first meeting of season 10. This was on 8th December as Puneri Paltan won that match by a margin of 11 points. Since then U Mumba has made some changes to their starting 7. Their defense is almost a new one with Sombir, Bittu, Gokulakannan and Shanmugan along with Captain Surinder Singh. Though U Mumba has won 10 out of their 21 encounters with the Paltan, beating Pune in season 10 will be an uphill task for U Mumba.
Runners-up of season 9 made an ideal start to the new season as they beat the Gujarat Giants in style. Captain Aslam Inamdar, Mohit Goyat and Pankaj Mohite scored 17 points collectively but it was left corner Mohammedreza who earned an additional 3 raid points apart from 6 tackle points. The Puneri defense was so spicy that the Giants could score just 15 raid points in the entire match. Thus the Paltan completed their 11th victory in 13 matches in season 10.
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 has started to contribute in raids too apart from his ankle holds and blocks. Defenders Abhinesh, Sanket Sawant and right corner Gaurav Khatri have formed a sensational wall around every raider that tried to deceive them. 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 9 out of their 21 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 Puneri Paltan has one of the best combinations on the circuit. They have won the maximum number of matches as compared to all other teams. They have used almost the same set of players in all their matches which proves that their players are fresh and fit for each match. As their success is a result of team effort, the Paltan is not totally dependent on any one superstar. Hence they are able to overcome individual breakdowns which may happen once in a while. Puneri Paltan also follows the philosophy of scoring aggressively due to which they have a fantastic score difference. This also exerts pressure on their opponents who falter while trying to match their pace. The Puneri Paltan has a huge advantage over their arch-rivals U Mumba, but they just need to stay away for complacency in this match.
The Puneri Paltan will be up against a tricky opponent in the form of U Mumba. Mumba has gone through a rough phase in the last couple of weeks. They need to lift their spirits as their opponents are very strong. Mumba raider Guman Singh will start aggressively but none of the Mumba radiers will score a Super 10. They will have to complement each other and make sure that Mumba has enough raid earnings. Their defense may just falter due to inexperience. Corners Bittu and Sombir will trouble the Puneri raiders but overall Mumba defense will leak points.
The Paltan will expect their trio of raiders to earn over 20 raid points in the match. None of them will score a Super 10 but the trio will trouble the Mumba defense. Puneri Paltan may inflict an all-out very early in the first half. Left corner Mohammedreza will be deadly with this hunting. Right corner Gaurav Khatri and Sanket Sawant will relish their tackles in the second half. This will be a tough match for U Mumba.
Puneri Paltan will win.
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