Match Day 54 Preview and Prediction
The party of Pro Kabaddi League Season 9 is over for the Telugu Titans as they will be making their last appearance of the season in front of a passionate home crowd. The heart of Hyderabad, Gachibowli Indoor Stadium is also the venue of this forthcoming Matchday 54 which will be played on Wednesday from 7:30 PM onwards.
The double-header day action will be kick-started with the opening battle between the legendary Maninder Singh of Bengal Warriors and the modern-day great Naveen Goyat of Dabang Delhi. In the second fixture of the night, Telugu Titans will be gracing the stage of PKL 9 for the final time to lock horns with Haryana Steelers.
Match 126: Bengal Warriors vs Dabang Delhi
The Bangla Tigers were crushed by the inaugural champions in their most recent appearance which almost knocked them out of the playoffs race. The high-scoring one-sided saga resulted in a final scoreline of 57-31 in favor of Jaipur Pink Panthers who dominated the Sky Blues in each and every department. Playoff qualification seemed obvious for Dabang Delhi at one point however, the recent drawbacks have made the pathway of the defending champions to the knockout round quite tough.
The Kolkata-based franchise will be having a psychological advantage of winning the first chapter of this rivalry earlier this season. Captain Naveen Goyat’s fighting Super 10 went in vain as his Dabang Fauj eventually went on to lose the encounter on the final scoreline of 35-30 at Shree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium of Bengaluru. Meanwhile, skipper Maninder Singh (10 raid points) and his two Maharashtrian defensive knights, Vaibhav Garje (6 tackle points) and Girish Ernak (5 tackle points) had a lion’s share in the emphatic victory.
The decision of Bengal gaffer K Bhaskaran to make hefty changes in the cover positions sorrowfully backfired and has cost them big. Parveen Satpal and R Sakthivel who were promoted to the Starting Seven miserably failed as we may get to see the duo of Balaji Dhanapal and Vaibhav Garje back in action. The veteran all-rounder Deepak Niwas Hooda was dropped from the Warriors’ matchday squad for the Jaipur game and is likely to miss this fixture as well.
The young right-cover defender Dipak made his return to the Starting Seven replacing Ravi Kumar and went on to deliver another impressive performance. The Capital-based franchise is likely to field an unchanged lineup for the forthcoming battle to sustain further the positive momentum. The defensive department of the Delhi Blues needs to provide aid to the raiding unit which is making diligent efforts to reinstate their reign.
Delhi has already sealed their berth for the playoff round hence the defending champions may go easy on Thursday to avoid any injury threats before the knockout clashes. Meanwhile, the Warriors from the land of Bangla will be turning up for this fixture with all of their guns blazing to consummate the ninth edition journey on a positive note.
Predicted Starting Seven
Bengal Warriors: Maninder Singh (C), Shrikant Jadhav, Aslam Saja; Balaji Dhanapal, Vaibhav Garje; Girish Ernak, Shubham Shinde
Dabang Delhi: Naveen Goyat (C), Vijay Malik, Ashu Malik; Vishal Lather, Dipak; Sandeep Dhull, Amit Hooda
Match 127: Haryana Steelers vs Telugu Titans
Haryana’s triumphant run of three games finally came to an end when they faced table-toppers Jaipur Pink Panthers in their previous fixture. The diligent efforts of the Steelers couldn’t even reward them with a consolation point after ending up on the losing side of a 44-30 scoreline. This is going to be the final fixture of Telugu Titans in the PKL ninth edition, hence the Yellow and Blacks will be aiming to make it memorable for the home fans.
When the last time these two combatants were up against each other, the outcome of that encounter was ruled out in the favor of the Haryana Blues in a one-sided manner. The Dhakad Boys of Haryana showcased a perfect team effort in a 19-point victory starring the youngster Meetu Sharma who scalped 13 raid points all alone. On the other hand, the highest scorer from the Telugu camp was Baahubali Siddharth Desai who only featured in the last 10 minutes and bagged five raid points.
Despite having such a great start, the Steelers could not continue to forward momentum and went on to lose the game in a one-sided manner. The young assassin Manish Gulia was subbed on by the head coach Manpreet Singh in the 33rd minute of the game and scalped 5 raid points at an astonishing strike rate of 71%. The cameo appearance can land him directly into the Starting Seven in place of Rakesh Kumar whom he replaced in the previous game as well.
As per the reports, heavy rumors are roaming around that Venkatesh Survi will be discharged from his duties as head coach after the completion of this edition. Hence the Telangana-based gaffer may make plenty of changes in the Titans lineup to field a developmental roster for the final appearance of the season. Another local face Hanumanthu Naik will be seen in more of a primary role in the offensive department of the Yellow and Blacks.
In the kind of form, Haryana Steelers are, there’s no doubt that the Blues are standing with brighter chances to emerge victorious from this contest. The Titans who have suffered major upsets this season despite having a star-studded roster would love to see smiles on the faces of their passionate supporters in the final game.
Predicted Starting Seven
Haryana Steelers: Manjeet Dahiya, Meetu Sharma, Manish Gulia; Jaideep Dahiya, Mohit Nandal; Nitin Rawal (C), Monu Hooda
Telugu Titans: Siddharth Desai, Abhishek Singh, Hanumanthu Naik; Parvesh Bhainswal (C), Nitin Deswal; Muhammad Shihas, Ankit Sharma