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The contest between efficient raiders and erratic defenders.
Bengaluru Bulls will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Shree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, BengaluruBet Now
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Both teams have some quality players and one expects them to perform consistently. Bengaluru Bulls lost to the Bengal Warriors in the last game by 9 points after winning their first 2 bouts. Raiders Vikash Kandola and Bharat have been in great touch while raider Neeraj Narwal has supported them nicely. It’s their defense that needs to improve as the season progresses.
UP Yodha had to work hard in every game. They lost closely to Dabang Delhi while they managed to scrape past Jaipur Pink Panthers in one of the matches. Pardeep Narwal and Surender Gill look awesome when they work together but they need to innovate if they want to escape every trap laid by their opponents. UP Yodha defense has been brittle on occasions causing them to lose matches.
This will be a face-off between the raiders of both teams as UP Yodha desperately needs to win in order to build momentum for the season.
The semi-finalists of season 8 have been inconsistent at the beginning of the new season. They beat Jaipur Pink Panthers in their opening game, lost to U Mumba, and then lost a close encounter to Dabang Delhi. In all the matches, chinks in the armor were exposed. The defense is brittle on occasions while the earnings via raids come to a standstill the moment opponents decode Pardeep Narwal and Surender Gill.
Many teams were able to trap Pardeep easily last season but Surender Gill remains out of their reach. This season, even Surender is hunted easily in certain games. UP Yodha will have to come up with contingency plans if something like this happens regularly. Their back is limited to K Rathan and Rohit Tomar. They also have the services of experienced Nitin Tomar. Yodha may just unleash him soon as they need to win every match in the first half of the season.
Their defense is unique but they seem to falter at crucial moments. Captain Nitesh and left corner Sumit form the backbone of their defense. Shubham Kumar and Ashu Singh have done well to support their captain. The main issue with Yodha is the response of the defense if in case Pardeep and Surender do not deliver. The Yodha will have to plan to control the pace of the game in such scenarios.
UP Yodha has a decent record against the Bulls as they have won 4 out of their 11 encounters. Most of the games have been high-scoring ones which means that raiders from both teams loot in broad daylight.
The new-look Bulls are an underrated team. Without big stars, one may underestimate them, but they have displayed terrific team spirit to win games consistently. Raiders Bharat and Vikash Kandola may not score a Super 10 every time but they will secure raid points regularly.
The Bulls started the season with a win over the Telegu Titans and consolidated with another win over the Puneri Paltan in a close game. But they were undone by the Bengal Warriors in their next match which they lost by 9 points.
Defenders Aman and Saurav Nandal have been accurate and lethal in their hunting. Incidentally, both defenders play in the left corner position. Defenders Mahender Singh and Mayur Kadam need to improve their tackle success rate as they have faltered on a few occasions. This puts a lot of pressure on the Bulls if the raiders fail simultaneously. This is what happened with them in the match against the Bengaluru Bulls.
The Bulls have conducted 47 successful raids and 28 successful tackles. These numbers are similar to the UP Yodha. Hence this match should be a close contest. Unfortunately, they have also conceded the highest number of points this season. Ironically UP Yodha is second behind the Bulls.
The Bulls have a wonderful track record against the Yodha winning 7 out of their 11 matches. This should give them a lot of confidence as they enter the mat to face an opponent who has similar strengths and weaknesses.
Expect a high-scoring game as both the Bulls and Yodha have good raiders and defenders. This match will be interesting as both teams have performed similarly though the Bulls have won an extra game. Vikash Kandola and Bharat will create problems for the Yodha defense.
Pardeep Narwal has to be innovative if he wants to survive through the season as he has been trapped in a planned manner by most teams. Surender Gill will give a tough time to the Bull’s defense. UP Yodha is a raider short and this may impact the end result.
Defenders of both teams have to improve their consistency else it will be a windfall for both teams. UP Yodha has to be careful as the Bulls have the highest score of 64 against them which speaks volumes of their raiding prowess. But this is a new season and both teams will look forward to creating new records.
Bengaluru Bulls will win.
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