Match Day 21 Preview and Prediction

It will be a tough test for the Pirates against their former gaffer

As the caravan of Pro Kabaddi League Season 9 is advancing rapidly, the race for the Top 4 is also getting more intense day by day. In the Matchday 21 of PKL 9, the Kabaddi universe will be exhilarated with doubleheader action at Pune’s Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex on Monday from 7:30 PM onwards. 

A recap of the PKL Season 5 will be staged in the opening fixture of the matchday where Ram Mehar Singh will be turning up with a master plan of tearing down his former employer Patna Pirates. Then the record-breaker Pardeep Narwal will be gracing the television sets with an ultimate aim to sustain further his purple patch by outclassing the Telugu Titans‘ defense. 

Match 50: Gujarat Giants vs Patna Pirates 

The PKL’s most decorated franchise is finally back on track after suffering from a winless run in the first five fixtures. The Bihar-based franchise is enjoying a three-game undefeated run ever since registering their first win of the season against the defending champions Dabang Delhi. 

Patna also trampled down the castle of UP Yoddhas in their most recent appearance starring Sachin Tanwar’s incredible five-pointer Super Raid. Gujarat’s inconsistency has cost them many crucial match points, especially against sides that feature a lot of young talents. 

The two elite Pro Kabaddi sides have faced each other at the grandest stage of Kabaddi only nine times to date. And the head-to-head record of those encounters slightly favors the Ahmedabad-based franchise on a 5-4 scoreline. 

In the debut PKL campaign of Gujarat, the Giant forces faced Patna in the Grand Finale but couldn’t get the better of the Three-time champions. The Pirates won that high-scoring Final battle by 52-38 to complete a hat-trick of Pro Kabaddi titles and also completed a double in the previous season.

The onerous raiding responsibilities of Patna on the young shoulders of Sachin

The onerous raiding responsibilities of Patna on the young shoulders of Sachin

The raiding trio of Sachin, Rohit and Monu is working well for the Pirates as the presence of all-rounder Monu Sandhu provides much-needed balance to this lineup. The skipper Neeraj Kumar also came back in form scoring vital three tackle points with a success rate of 75% in their triumph over UP Yoddha. Patna’s strike raiding option Sachin Tanwar does not have a great track record against the franchise which brought him to this stage and he must be looking forward to improvising it on Monday.

Gujarat’s first-choice captain Chandran Ranjith suffered a serious injury in the fifth minute of their U Mumba clash and may not be available for many forthcoming games. The likes of Rakesh Sungroya and Prasanth Kumar Rai will have to step in to fill the leadership void in the offensive department. The left-corner defender Rinku Narwal can be seen leading the Giants while Ranjit’s place in the Starting Seven is likely to be taken by Parteek Dahiya.  

It is going to be a neck-to-neck contest in this battle as pivotal figures in both camps are well aware of the strength and weaknesses of the opposition. However, the key aspect of the current form favours the three-time champions who will not face any difficulties in emerging victorious from this contest if they are able to play up to their strength.

Predicted Starting Seven

Gujarat Giants: Rakesh Sungroya, Prasanth Kumar Rai, Parteek Dahiya; Arkam Shaikh, Sourav Gulia; Rinku Narwal (C), Shankar Gadai 

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

Match 51: UP Yoddhas vs Telugu Titans 

The Yoddhas suffered a frustrating outcome against their neighborhood rivals Patna Pirates despite the raiding power show of Pardeep Narwal. It was UP’s fourth defeat out of seven fixtures while they’re still yet to win two consecutive games this season. Telugu is seated right at the bottom-most position of Season 9 standings after each and every big name in the squad has failed to live up to the expectations. 

Despite making their PKL debut in Season 5, the Uttar Pradesh-based outfit has qualified for the playoff stages more times than their counterparts. Hence the Yoddhas also have a dominant head-to-head record over the Yellow and Blacks with six wins from 10 face-offs. The Titans could emerge victorious only on two occasions while the same number of matches have resulted in ties. 

Durgesh Netam has received many opportunities to make his mark at the grandest stage of Kabaddi however, the Chhattisgarh lad has continuously failed to capitalize on it. The local boy Rohit Tomar had an impressive cameo scoring five raid points coming off the substitute bench against Patna. Rohit replacing Durgesh is expected to be the only change in the UP lineup for this fixture. 

It's high time for the Yoddhas to take a wake-up call!

It’s high time for the Yoddhas to take a wake-up call! 

Just like Tamil Thalaivas, the Hyderabad-based franchise also needs to make a few minor changes in its approach to aim for big results. After the massive failure of the big names in the earlier stages, Telugu management has now opted for a blend of youth in their Starting Seven of the past few matches. Abhishek Singh is now fully fit to feature in the Starting Seven and will be taking the charge of the offensive unit against his home side.

Regardless of UP’s inconsistent form, they are still favorites to claim all three match points from this game. Pardeep Narwal is the player to watch out for as the winning chances of his side will heavily revolve around the individual contribution of the record-breaker. 

Predicted Starting Seven

UP Yoddhas: Pardeep Narwal, Surender Gill, Rohit Tomar; Gurdeep, Ashu Singh; Sumit Sangwan, Nitesh Kumar (C)

Telugu Titans: Abhishek Singh, Monu Goyat (C), Adarsh T; Mohit, Surjeet, Vishal Bharadwaj, Vijay Kumar