Puneri Paltan vs Gujarat Giants: Preview and Prediction
Puneri Paltan will lock horns with the Gujarat Giants in the 34th match of the Pro Kabaddi League at the Sheraton Grand Convention centre in Bengaluru on Wednesday. The two teams are in the bottom half of the points table with just one win in the season 8 of the league so far.
However, the Giants have been a better performing side with a couple of losses and ties in addition to the win. On the other hand, the Paltan are lying at the bottom of table with 4 losses in the remaining 4 matches.
Giants managed a comeback in the second half against the Haryana Steelers in the previous match but fell short as it was too little, too late. The Paltan were leading at half-time against the Bengaluru Bulls but Chandran Ranjit and Pawan Kumar Sehrawat were too good for the Anup Kumar-coached team in the second half.
How have they done so far?
Puneri Paltan have lost their last three matches and have been in dismal form in this season. In the early days of the tournament, they seem like a team which every other franchise would love to face and the Vishal Bhardwaj-led team has to turn around their fortunes in quick time.
The Paltan haven’t sustained their performances for the entirety of the match as the defensive steam has been lost.
The biggest issue of the Gujarat Giants has been their inconsistency. Their raiders and defenders have picked momentum in the last two matches and will be hoping to close out the match against a relatively weaker opponent.
Head to head record
The Gujarat Giants have dominated the rivalry with 6 wins in 8 matches so far. However, both the matches in the previous season were won by the Puneri Paltan. In the first match between the two sides in PKL 7, Paltan edged out the Giants by a couple of points winning the match 33-31. While in the second match, they registered a comfortable win of 43-33.
Rakesh Sangroya: The raider scored 19 raid points in the previous match against the Steelers and was one of the key factors why the Giants managed a comeback in the second half. This season, Rakesh has been on the mat for 70% of the time and in spite of playing under the shadow of Rakesh Narwal and Mahendra Rajput in the previous matches, he has managed to make a case for himself.
Abhineesh Natarajan: The Paltan’s defence has been unimpressive in spite of the presence of big names like Baldev Singh, Vishal Bhardwaj, Somdev. The performance of Abhinesh Natarajan has been a silver lining who has scored 9 tackle points and will be a threat to the Giants as a right cover.
Predicted Starting 7s
Puneri Paltan: Aslam Inamdar, Abhinesh Nadarajan, Sanket Sawant, Pawan Kadian, Mohit Goyat, Baldev Singh, Vishal Bhardwaj
Gujarat Giants: Rakesh Narwal, Rakesh Sangroya, Ravinder Pahal, Sumit, Sunil Kumar, Parvesh Bhainswal, Mahendra Rajput
Although, both the teams have registered a solitary win in the PKL 8 so far, the Gujarat Giants have been a better performing team on the mat. The Paltan have been lacklustre and the Giants will hold an advantage to register their second win of the tournament.