Match Day 40 Preview and Prediction
Telugu Titans will be back in front of the exhilarating home crowd to play for their pride after already getting eliminated from the playoff race. The Matchday 40 action of Pro Kabaddi Season 9 will be hosted by Gachibowli Indoor Stadium of Hyderabad on Tuesday from 7:30 PM onwards.
Two young units of Tamil Thalaivas and U Mumba led by the breakout raiding sensations Narender Kandola and Guman Singh will be up against each other in the opening fixture. Then the double-header caravan will be moving to the second and final clash where home team Telugu Titans will be taking on the three-time champions Patna Pirates.
Match 94: U Mumba vs Tamil Thalaivas
After defeating table-toppers Puneri Paltan and the three-time champions Patna Pirates, U Mumba has lost two back-to-back games where they started out as the favorites. The Orange and Blacks suffered a dreadful outcome against the home team in their opening Hyderabad leg game on Saturday. The Thalaivas are also struggling with their form despite having such a great run in the initial phase of the Pune leg.
The Chennai-based outfit emerged victorious when both of these franchises faced each other for the first-ever time in Season 5. However, the second-edition champions have turned the tables ever since then and went on an undefeated streak of seven matches while winning six out of those. Hence the current head-to-head count of this traditional rivalry between India’s two biggest metropolises favors the Orange and Blacks by 6-1.
The MumBoys will also have a psychological advantage of defeating the Thalaivas unit the first time they squared earlier this season. The raiding trio of Mumbai, Guman Singh (12), Ashish Narwal (10) and Jai Bhagwan (8) smashed the Tamizhan defense unit to the core and accumulated a tally of 30 points. The raging youngster Narender Kandola delivered a one-man-show from the Yellow and Blues camp scoring 15 raid points in 20 raids at a success rate of 75%.
After a long wait, the right-cover defender Vishal Mane finally made an appearance for his home franchise making a comeback in Mumba colors after six years. However, the veteran could not make any impression on his first matchday scalping only a single tackle point at a success rate of just 20%. The stand-in Mumba captain Rinku is excelling well while abiding by the responsibilities of leadership and must be eying on his third triumph in the absence of Surinder Singh.
The major reason behind Thalaivas’ lowest stance in the Points Table is the inconsistent form of their defensive department. Tamil does not have a single representative in the Top 10 list of the highest-scoring defenders while their most successful protector is the captain Sagar Rathee who has acclaimed 38 tackle points from 14 appearances. The cover-defensive duo of M Abhishek and Mohit Jakhar also delivers fine performances often but always fails to stay consistent for a whole season.
It is going to be a crushing contest of Kabaddi between two sides who have equivalent star power in the ranks and are dearly missing the services of their first-choice captains. It all comes down to the defensive units of both combatants as the one which will be able to curb the attacks of opposition raiders can indeed make a strong claim for the valuable five match points.
Predicted Starting Seven
U Mumba: Guman Singh, Ashish Narwal, Jai Bhagwan; Harendra Kumar, Vishal Mane; Kiran Magar, Rinku Sharma (C)
Tamil Thalaivas: Narender Kandola, Ajinkya Pawar, Himanshu Singh; Mohit Jakhar, M Abhishek; Sahil Gulia, Sagar Rathee (C)
Match 95: Telugu Titans vs Patna Pirates
Defying the odds, Telugu Titans brought a wave of happiness to the home fans and stunned U Mumba to register their second victory of the Season 9 campaign. In a recap of the Grand Finale of the previous season, the Pirates played their hearts out but still fell short of avenging their final defeat against the defending champions Dabang Delhi. The final scoreline remained 30-27 in favor of the Blues where more than 70% of Patna’s points were scored by a single defender named Mohammadreza Shadloui.
The rivalry between these two old foes has been high-strung right from the inception of this grandest stage of Kabaddi. The Hyderabad-based outfit is among the very few sides who have maintained a close winning record against the PKL’s most decorated franchise.
The Yellow and Blacks defeated the Bihar-based franchise in the 3rd place battle of the second edition which remained their first and only playoff encounter as both of them ever came across each other in knockout games since then.
In the most recent chapter of this rivalry, Telugu Titans registered a convincing nine-point victory over the Northern counterparts to claim all five match points for the first time this season. Meanwhile, the Patna side which ended up on the losing side of that low-scoring saga was also searching for their first win of the campaign. The experienced Telugu knight Monu Goyat played a pivotal role in the triumph scoring nine raid points and a solitary tackle point against his former employer.
The raiding duo of Siddharth Desai and Abhishek Singh who have gained back their form will be possessing the biggest threat to the Pirates. Vishal Bharadwaj who was snubbed off from their Starting Seven against Mumba made a substitute appearance and became the highest-scoring defender of the match bagging four tackle points. The veteran right-cover Surjeet may also be seen lining up for the Yellow and Blacks at the kick-off on Tuesday night.
The absence of Patna’s strike raider Sachin Tanwar and overdependence on the Iranian prince Mohammadreza Shadloui caused the Greens four match points against Delhi. Despite getting so many opportunities, young left-cover Manish Dhull has failed to capitalize on them and may find himself out of the Seven as a consequence of the defeat. Patna had 16 tackle points from the previous fixture and interestingly, all of them were scored by a single defender from 8 successful attempts.
The Titans may have defeated Patna earlier this season but that was a different Pirates unit that was morally down and desperately searching for their first breakthrough of the season. However, things have changed and the Green side is having brighter winning chances, especially after displaying massive defensive destruction most recently.
Predicted Starting Seven
Telugu Titans: Siddharth Desai, Abhishek Singh, Mohsen Maghsoudlou; Parvesh Bhainswal, Surjeet (C); Vishal Bharadwaj, Ankit Sharma
Patna Pirates: Rohit Gulia, Monu Sandhu, Sukesh Hegde; Sajin Chandrasekar, Neeraj Kumar (C); Mohammadreza Shadloui, Sunil Narwal