Match Day 43 Preview and Prediction
Pro Kabaddi Season 9 completes a ton of league stage matches and is heading towards an action-packed final phase of the campaign. Gachibowli Indoor Stadium of Hyderabad will be the venue of the intriguing Matchday 43 saga of the ninth edition on Saturday from 7:30 PM onwards.
The triple-threat matchday will be kick-started with the clash between two combatants U Mumba and Bengal Warriors who are both battling out for the qualification ticket to the playoffs. Then the battlefield will be occupied by the table-toppers Puneri Paltan taking on the bottom-placed Telugu Titans indicating a probability of a major upset. The traditional rivals UP Yoddhas and Patna Pirates will be quarrelling against each to proclaim northern supremacy.
Match 101: U Mumba vs Bengal Warriors
U Mumba is on the verge of losing their contention for the playoff qualification ticket after losing all three of their previous fixtures. Especially, in their most recent appearance where the Mumboys in Orange and Blacks could only score 20 points against Tamil Thalaivas and lost the tie by 14 points. On the other hand, Mighty Maninder and his Warriors stunned the PKL universe defeating Bengaluru Bulls who are considered the strong contenders for the Top 2 position.
The last time these two franchises shared the battlefield, the young unit of U Mumba completely dismantled the high-profile Bengal Warriors side in all departments. The Kolkata-based outfit played their hearts out but still couldn’t outwit the determined Mumboys and lost the encounter by 11 points.
The defenders Rinku Sharma, Mohit and captain Surinder Singh starred from the Orange and Blacks camp scoring a combined tally of 19 tackle points while the substitute appearance of Ashish Narwal also made a lot of difference.
The presence of captain Surinder Singh is dearly missed by the Mumba fans as their team is not only struggling with defense but also having a leadership crisis. We may see some fresh faces back in the raiding unit of Mumba Seven after their disastrous offensive run from the last few games.
Bengal fans were delighted with the comeback of Balaji Dhanapal in the Starting Seven who was also their second-most successful defender against Bengaluru scalping 3 tackle points. The current form and the recent heroics against the Bulls make them favorites to end up on the winning side when the full-time whistle will be blown.
Predicted Starting Seven
U Mumba: Guman Singh, Ashish Narwal, Heidarali Ekrami; Harendra Kumar, Shivansh Thakur; Mohit, Rinku Sharma (C)
Bengal Warriors: Maninder Singh (C), Shrikant Jadhav, Manoj Gowda; Balaji Dhanapal, Vaibhav Garje; Girish Ernak, Shubham Shinde
Match 102: Puneri Paltan vs Telugu Titans
A one-point defeat at the hands of arch-rivals U Mumba was the only instance in the last six games where the Orange Stallions ended up on the losing side. Pune has strengthened their contention for topping the league stage standings after thrashing the two biggest challengers Jaipur Pink Panthers and Bengaluru Bulls in consecutive fixtures. The Titans came too close to registering their third win of the season but once again missed out on glory by a single point.
The first chapter of this battle was won by the Maharashtrian outfit who edged past the Yellow and Blacks in a low-scoring thriller saga. A perfect team performance by the Paltan overpowered the Telugu side who were heavily dependent on the individual brilliance of a few of their knights.
The Titans gaffer Venkatesh Survi made a big mistake by not starting the likes of Siddharth Desai and Surjeet who later on emerged as their best raider and defender of the match coming from the bench.
The Bahubali Siddharth Desai is delivering a one-man-show performance and had a contribution of 88% in their raid points tally against Patna and is lacking support from the other assailants. The veteran Surjeet is highly expected to be back into the Titans while the young raider Vinay Redhu may replace the Iranian Mohsen Maghsoudlou in the Starting Seven.
Pune’s team combination is undoubtedly the best in the tournament and does not need any changes for the rest of the season unless an unexpected injury crisis occurs. The Hyderabad-based franchise will have to pull off a major upset to stun the table-toppers who are turning up for this fixture after hunting two of their strongest competitors.
Predicted Starting Seven
Puneri Paltan: Aslam Inamdar, Mohit Goyat, Akash Shinde; Sanket Sawant, Abinesh Nadarajan; Fazel Atrachali (C), Sombir Gulia
Telugu Titans: Siddharth Desai, Abhishek Singh, Vinay Redhu; Parvesh Bhainswal, Surjeet (C); Ankit Sharma, Vishal Bharadwaj
Match 103: UP Yoddhas vs Patna Pirates
As the record-breaker Pardeep Narwal is back to his reputed form, the Yoddhas are getting stronger and stronger and have attained 26 match points from the last seven games. The Northerners handed a thumping win to the Gujarat Giants in order to strengthen their stay at the fourth position in the points table. Meanwhile, Patna somehow managed to edge out the bottom-placed Telugu Titans side in the thriller saga which ended on a final scoreline of 36-35.
The three-time champions will have a psychological advantage for this game having comfortably defeated their arch-rivals earlier this season. The Patna raiding duo of Sachin Tanwar and Rohit Gulia respectively delivered a fine performance of 11 and 7 raid points to keep them on the winning side of a 34-29 scoreline.
The Yoddhas’ Saradar Pardeep Narwal who was playing against his beloved former side emerged as the most successful raider of the match scoring 12 raid points consisting of 10 touches and 2 bonuses.
The left-cover Sajin Chandrasekar has been brought back to the Patna side which stabilizes their defensive unit which was leaking a lot of points from the cover positions. As the Pirates gaffer Ravi Shetty has finally got his best combination for the Starting Seven, he is likely to stick to this lineup until the end of the playoff race.
The return of Surender Gill will bring back life to the UP offense but it’s still quite unclear whether the towering Haryana-based raider will feature in the forthcoming clash or not. It is quite hard to predict the winner of this high-voltage contest however, the absence of Gill has granted a slight advantage to the Men in Green.
Predicted Starting Seven
UP Yoddhas: Pardeep Narwal (C), Rohit Tomar, Mahipal Sinwar; Gurdeep Sangwan, Ashu Singh; Sumit Sangwan, Nitesh Kumar
Patna Pirates: Sachin Tanwar, Rohit Gulia, Monu Sandhu; Sajin Chandrasekar, Neeraj Kumar (C); Mohammadreza Shadloui, Sunil Narwal