​Puneri Paltan vs Bengaluru Bulls: Preview and Prediction

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Bengaluru Bulls captain Pawan Sehrawat in action earlier in the PKL Season 8

The winner of the 2018-19 season in the Pro Kabaddi League, the Bengaluru Bulls, will take on Puneri Paltan in Match No. 29 of PKL Season 8 at the Sheraton Grand Whitefield Hotel and Convention Centre in Bengaluru on Sunday.

On paper, this seems to be a battle between teams of contrasting fortunes as the Bulls occupy the third spot in the points table while the Paltans find themselves in the bottom rung of the ladder with just a solitary win.

Bengaluru averages 22.25 raid points per game and occupies the third position in the average raid points per team in PKL Season 8 with a success raiding percentage of 47.71, which is the second-best in the league. They are solid defensively too as they average 10.25 tackle points per match and have a success rate of 38.24%.

The side from Pune doesn’t have really good team statistics as they average just 16.5 raid points per game. They have also bagged just 38 tackle points so far this season and have an overall point differential of -32, the lowest in the league.

How have they done so far?

Bengaluru Bulls began the season on a disastrous note by losing to U Mumba by a 16-point margin. However, they made a valiant comeback against Tamil Thalaivas, defeating them 38-30.

The Bulls held their nerve until the end to edge out Bengal Warriors 36-35 before coming up with a commanding 42-28 win over Haryana Steelers. The team is riding on the heroics of Pawan Sehrawat, who has completed three Super 10’s already in four matches. 

Puneri Paltan too didn’t have an encouraging start to the season as Naveen Kumar’s blistering 16 points saw them lose their contest to Dabang Delhi by an 11-point margin.

Mohit Goyat and Aslam Inamdar’s combination helped the Paltans eke out a 34-33 win over Telugu Titans. However, they failed to build on that momentum as they lost 38-26 to Patna Pirates and followed it with a 36-26 hammering to Tamil Thalaivas.

Head to head record

Puneri holds a better head-to-head record against Bengaluru, having won seven of their twelve encounters between them. The latter won the remaining five matches as not a single contest ended in a tie.

Key Players

Pawan Kumar Sehrawat: Hi-Flyer Pawan Sehrawat has the third most number of raid points this season, with 55 points to his name, and will be eager to add to his tally. Chandran Ranjit is equally threatening while going forward and is the second in command in Bengaluru’s raiding unit. 

Aslam Inamdar: None of the Puneri players have been consistent this season, with Aslam Inamdar being the lone exception. The All-rounder has picked up 21 points so far and the entire team will be banking on his abilities on both sides of the mat.

Predicted Starting 7’s

Aslam Inamdar is the only player living up to his expectations in this feeble Puneri Paltans unit

Aslam Inamdar is the only player living up to his expectations in this feeble Puneri Paltans unit

Puneri Paltan: Rahul Chaudhari, Abhinash Nadarajan, Sanket Sawant, Mohit Goyat, Aslam Inamdar, Sombir, Vishal Bharadwaj (c)

Bengaluru Bulls: Pawan Sehrawat (c), Mayur Jagannath, Mahender Singh, More G, Chandran Ranjit, Saurabh Nandal, Aman

Prediction

The match seems to be a David vs Goliath contest on paper but the fans shouldn’t expect the underdog to come out on top on this occasion. When squaring off against lower-ranked teams on the table, Bengaluru Bulls are ruthless and hence, we expect an easy win for the Bulls.

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