Puneri Paltan vs Bengal Warriors: Preview and Prediction

Bengal Warriors are ranked 8th in the points table

Puneri Paltan clashes with the Bengal Warriors in the 43rd match of the Pro Kabaddi League at the Sheraton Grand Convention Centre in Bengaluru on Saturday and both the teams would be looking to bounce back after losing their previous encounters.

Bengal Warriors are dependent on Maninder Singh and Mohammad Nabibaksh as they have failed to unearth other stars in their team. Sukesh Hegde, the right raider who has been a seasoned campaigner in the PKL has been benched by the Warriors in the majority of the matches.

Puneri Paltan has had sporadic performances from various players but they are yet to turn up as a team. Rahul Chaudhari’s poor form hasn’t helped but the young brigade might be gaining experience and the franchise will hope that they convert it to wins.

How have they done so far?

Puneri Paltan is ranked second from the bottom with a couple of wins in the 7 matches they have played so far. They have lost big with a big margin even in their losses which has resulted in a score difference of -41 which will be a cause of concern going forward in the tournament. In the previous match against the Jaipur Pink Panthers, they were trailing from the start of the encounter as the defensive unit was unable to stop Arjun Deshwal.

Bengal Warriors started off the previous encounter against the Steelers on a positive note as they couldn’t hold onto the lead. With 3 wins in 7 matches, the points table has reflected how inconsistent the defending champions have been in this season. However, just like the Puneri Paltan, the Bengal Warriors have lost by a big margin on multiple occasions, hampering their score difference which is -25 at the moment.

Head to Head Record

The two teams have been a part of the PKL since its inception and have faced each other 14 teams. The overall record is pretty neck and neck with 7 wins for the Warriors while the Puneri Paltan has managed 6 victories and a solitary match ended in a tie.

In the previous season, the Maninder Singh-led side won both matches. The first match was won by the Warriors 43-23 with Maninder Singh scoring 14 points while Nabibaksh pocketing 8 raid points. The reverse fixture was a closer contest but the eventual champions won 42-39 as Maninder and Nabibaksh were the top-scorers of the franchise again. 

Key Players

Nitin Tomar: Towards the mid of the first half, Nitin Tomar was substituted onto the mat and inspired some fresh energy into the Puneri Paltan camp. Puneri Paltan has established a raiding trio of Mohit Goyat, Pankaj Mohite, and Aslam Inamdar and Nitin Tomar’s experience will be a great addition. He will be key against a Bengal Warriors defense which has its own issues.

Sachin Vittala: The Bengal Warriors defender completed the first high 5 of his PKL career. The defending champions have relied on Iranian Mohammad Nabibaksh in the tournament so far in their defensive unit. If Vittala builds on the momentum he attained against a strong Haryana raiding unit which was led by Vikash Khandola and Meetu Mahender, the Warriors’ worries will be reduced to a certain extent.

Predicted Starting 7s

Bengal Warriors were poor in defense in their previous match

Bengal Warriors were poor in defense in their previous match

Bengal Warriors: Maninder Singh, Darshan J, Mohammad Nabibaksh, Amit Narwal, Rohit, Abozar Mighani, Sachin Vittala

Puneri Paltan: Aslam Inamdar, Mohit Goyat, Nitin Tomar, Baldev Singh, Vishal Bhardwaj, Sanket Sawant, Abhineesh Natarajan


Puneri Paltan and Bengal Warriors are coming off losses in their previous matches. However, the Puneri Paltan looked the better of the two sides as their raiding unit might come back into the contest and the Anup Kumar-coached franchise will be the favourites heading into this encounter.