Matchday 16 Preview and Prediction ￼
There is no stopping the kabaddi action in the ongoing PKL edition as Puneri Paltan lock horns with Jaipur Pink Panthers and Telugu Titans cross swords with Haryana Steelers in Matchday 16 at the Shree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
Jaipur Pink Panthers occupy the top of the table with 26 points from six games as of this writing. Although they share the same number of points as Dabang Delhi, they hold an edge over the points difference. Puneri Paltan, on the other hand, sits in the fifth spot with 19 points from six matches.
Telugu Titans are positioned at the bottom of the table with just one win from six games. A negative point difference of -61 doesn’t help them either. Haryana Steelers have just two wins from six matches and are placed ninth.
Match 36: Puneri Paltan vs Jaipur Pink Panthers
Puneri Paltan is known for keeping things tight till the end and sneaking away with a victory by a small margin. Bengal Warriors, Telugu Titans, and U Mumba all fell prey by a difference of two points or less in their last three matches.
The Paltans’ trump card this season has been their defensive unit. Consisting of former U Mumba captain Fazel Atrachali and his Iranian teammate Mohammad Nabibakhsh, the duo have combined to pick 16 tackle points for their side. The Iranians arrived late to the country, missing the first three matches. However, Pune have a clean record since their entry into PKL 9.
Jaipur Pink Panthers, on the other hand, are on a five-game winning streak after bouncing back from their 32-34 loss to UP Yoddhas. Moreover, three of their wins came at a margin of 13 points or more, indicating the gulf of class between the table toppers and those at the bottom.
Arjun Deshwal has four Super 10s to his name and he has received support from V Ajith Kumar and Rahul Chaudhari as secondary raiders. Their deadly combination of having three raiders able to pick up touchpoints has kept the defense of other units in check.
It will be a battle between Jaipur Pink Panthers’ attack and Puneri Paltan’s defense. Fazel and Nabibakhsh have gained the upper hand over the mid-table and lower-table clubs but their biggest challenge will come against Jaipur on Tuesday. We predict Puneri to win the match.
Predicted Starting Seven
Jaipur Pink Panthers: V. Ajith Kumar, Arjun Deshwal, Ankush, Shaul Kumar, Abhishek KS, Sunil Kumar (C), Rahul Chaudhari
Puneri Paltan: Mohammad Nabibakhsh, Sanket Sawant, Mohit Goyat, Aslam Inamdar, Fazel Atrachali (C), Jadhav Balasaheb Shahaji, Sombir
Match 37: Telugu Titans vs Haryana Steelers
Telugu Titans have been on the receiving end of back-to-back three losses and their only win in the campaign so far came against eleventh-placed Patna Pirates. Moreover, they have lost by seven or fewer points only on two occasions so far, thus indicating their trouble in catching up with their opponents.
Adarsh T sprung a surprise last time with 9 raid points and it seems like the Titans have finally found their lead raider for the season. However, the likes of Sidharth Desai and Monu Goyat have to back him up from time to time.
Defensively, they have a lot of boxes to tick as none of their defenders has collectively been able to deal the damage. When Vishal Bharadwaj gets going, the likes of Surjeet Singh and Ravinder Pahal backfire and vice-versa. The lack of cohesion from both corners of defense has cost them a lot of points this season.
After starting PKL 9 on a positive note with back-to-back wins, Haryana Steelers have found themselves on the losing side in their last four matches. They couldn’t have asked for a better opponent than Telugu Titans to regain their mojo.
Meetu Mhahender and Manjeet Dahiya have to pull up their socks in the raiding department as they were on the back foot in the last couple of matches. Defensively, they have rarely let their guard loose with all of their defenders finding their name amongst the points more often than not.
Both teams need a win to lift themselves up in the points table. However, Haryana is positioned better to gain the upper hand in the match. Hence, we predict the Steelers to come out on top.
Predicted Starting Seven
Telugu Titans: Monu Goyat, Vishal Bhardwaj, Parvesh Bhainswal, Adarsh T, Vinay, Siddharth Desai, Ravinder Pahal (C)
Haryana Steelers: Manjeet, Nitin Rawal, Meetu Mhahender, Jaideep Kuldeep, Mohit, K. Prapanjan, Joginder Singh Narwal (C)