Match Day 13 Preview and Prediction

The Naveen Express returns to grace the Pro Kabaddi battlefield!

The breathtaking action of Pro Kabaddi League Season 9 will be returning with a lineup of three storming fixtures after a one-day halt on Friday. Bengaluru’s Shree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium will be the host of Matchday 13 on Friday from 7:30 PM onwards.

U Mumba and Haryana Steelers will be kick-starting the action in the opening game and then the caravan will be moving to the battle of heavyweights between Puneri Paltan and Bengal Warriors. In the final fixture of the night, the undisputed defending champions Dabang Delhi will be summoned by the bottom-placed Patna Pirates to conclude the saga. 

Match 30: U Mumba vs Haryana Steelers

Both of the teams were edged past by their opponents in their previous fixture with the slightest margin. U Mumba lost the season’s Maharashtrian Derby against their arch-rivals Puneri Paltan on the final scoreline of 30-28 in spite of putting up a great show. Meanwhile, Manpreet Singh and his Steelers had to satisfy with a single match point after a last-raid blunder made by Manjeet Dahiya which resulted in a bottling defeat.  

The head-to-head record of this rivalry currently favours the Orange and Black who have 6 victories from 11 games against the Steelers. Haryana on the other hand could emerge victorious against the second-edition champions only four times to date. The opening game of the previous season ended on a 24-24 settlement between the two combatants however, the Blues finally got the better of Mumboys in their most recent face-off. 

Mumba gaffer Anil Chaprana must be looking forward to getting back on the winning track as early as possible. Despite being off-colour in the last game, former Steeler Ashish Narwal may still get the nod in the Starting Seven while Heidarali Ekrami is likely to be used as a substitute. Mohit Kaler who replaced Kiran Magar in the left-corner position midway through the game may receive a start after a fine cameo of 3 tackle points against Paltan. 

Manpreet installing his energy into the Dhakad Boys 

After a groundbreaking performance in the opening fixture, Haryana all-rounder Nitin Rawal has failed to stay consistent by it in the raiding and defensive department as well.  Monu Hooda once again failed to leave an impression on the right corner as Manpreet may get back to the Iranian Amirhossein Bastami for the position. The Dhakad Army has a strong raiding unit on the bench with the likes of Vinay Tevathia, Rakesh Narwal and K Prapanjan.

It is quite difficult to predict the winner of this match as both combatants are equally strong on paper but U Mumba has slightly brighter chances after having a relatively better current form. 

Predicted Starting Seven

U Mumba: Guman Singh, Jai Bhagwan, Ashish Narwal; Harendra Kumar, Surinder Singh (C); Mohit Kaler, Rinku Sharma 

Haryana Steelers: Manjeet Dahiya, Meetu Sharma, Nitin Rawal; Jaideep Dahiya, Mohit Nandal; Joginder Narwal (C), Amirhossein Bastami 

Match 31: Puneri Paltan vs Bengal Warriors 

The arrival of the Iranian stars Fazel Atrachali and Mohammad Nabibakhsh is turning out to be the piece that is missing in the winning puzzle for Paltan. Pune who was winless in their first three fixtures is now sitting at the fourth position in the points table with 14 points under the helm. Bengal Warriors’ winning streak of three games was broken by Jaipur Pink Panthers who crushed them in a 15-point triumph.

The Kolkata-based franchise is leading the head-to-head record of this rivalry on a close scoreline of 8-7 despite the initial dominance by Paltan. Pune won the first face-off of the previous season to level the head-to-head count and also break its four-match winning streak of Bengal. The Warriors avenged their defeat in the returning leg of the rivalry which was also their final league stage game in the forgettable title-defense campaign. 

Aslam Inamdar proved his mettle in the toughest times

Aslam Inamdar proved his mettle in the toughest times 

The coordination and bond between the strike raiders, Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat, is getting better day by day and will be the biggest threats to the Sky Blues. The two youngsters have combinedly fetched 85 raid points from five games which is 83% of Pune’s total raid points this season. The only change in the Paltan Starting Seven we can expect is the home-grown defender Balasaheb Jadhav taking the place of Rakesh Ram who remained pointless in their previous triumph. 

Bengal’s predicted Starting Seven features three players Deepak Hooda, Girish Ernak and Shubham Shinde who once used to be the part of Paltan roster together. The duo of coach BC Ramesh and all-rounder Nabibakhsh who crowned the Warriors as the champions of PKL 7 will be up against their former employer. Pune gaffer will be setting up a trap to leash his former disciple Maninder Singh who is carrying serious wounds from the Jaipur game. 

The current form favours Puneri Paltan as the probable winner of this contest however, Bengal can also prevail if the Warriors are able to play up to their strength. 

Predicted Starting Seven

Puneri Paltan: Aslam Inamdar, Mohit Goyat, Mohammad Nabibakhsh; Sanket Sawant, Balasaheb Jadhav; Fazel Atrachali (C), Sombir Gulia 

Bengal Warriors: Maninder Singh (C), Shrikant Jadhav, Deepak Niwas Hooda; Balaji Dhanapal, Vaibhav Garje; Girish Ernak, Shubham Shinde 

Match 32: Patna Pirates vs Dabang Delhi 

It is the battle between two sides featured in the finals of Season 8 but currently seated on the two very opposite corners of the points table. Naveen Kumar Goyat and the company is having a dream title defense after not dropping a single match point from the first five fixtures and acquiring the table-toppers throne at an ease. On the other hand, PKL’s most decorated franchise of all time Patna Pirates are left only ones without a win in the league stage. 

The most recent chapter of this rivalry was the Grand Finale of the Pro Kabaddi Season 8 where the Capital-based franchise defeated the Green Army to lift their maiden silverware. Naveen who is currently donning the captain’s armband for the defending champions scored 13 raid points on the biggest night of his PKL career to date. Patna’s highest scorer from the Finale clash was Sachin Tanwar who still operates as the strike raider of the three-time champions. 

The biggest drawback of the Pirates’ defeat against Tamil Thalaivas was their cover-defense duo of Captain Neeraj Kumar and Sajin Chandrasekar who could not even score a single tackle point. Defying the odds, Rohit Gulia played exceptionally well in the previous game and also emerged as their highest scorer with 11 raid points. Ravi Shetty may bring up his most experienced knight Sukesh Hegde to the mat to provide the needed stability to this unit. 

As per the outcome of their recent fixture with Haryana Steelers, Delhi coach Krishan Kumar Hooda does not need a single necessary change to break this winning combination. Vijay Redhu who earlier replaced Sandeep Dhull on the left corner was their most successful defender against Haryana with 4 tackle points from 5 attempts. Manjeet and Ashu are doing fine in the supporting roles to Naveen however, the return of Vijay Malik is something that every Dabang fan must be looking for. 

The Dabang Fauj is the favourite to win this encounter without a second doubt as it will be quite tough for the Pirates to survive the storm of Naveen Express. 

Predicted Starting Seven 

Patna Pirates: Sachin Tanwar, Rohit Gulia, Monu Sandhu; Sajin Chandrasekar, Neeraj Kumar (C); Mohammadreza Shadloui, Sunil Narwal 

Dabang Delhi: Naveen Goyat (C), Manjeet Sharma, Ashu Malik; Vishal Lather, Ravi Kumar; Vijay Kumar, Krishan Dhull