The Super Playoffs are drawing nearer and the equations for all teams are becoming clearer by the day. U Mumba will rely on Puneri Paltan not having a particularly productive home leg but they will still have to win all their games starting from Saturday’s game against Jaipur to stay in contention. Similarly in Zone B, Telugu Titans have found late inspiration but they will have to win big against Haryana in their inter zone wildcard game and hope for a U.P. Yoddha collapse. Here is how the games are lined up.
Match 113: Haryana Steelers vs Telugu Titans
Head-to-head: Haryana Steelers 0-1 Telugu Titans
Haryana Steelers are comfortably placed in the second spot of Zone A but Telugu Titans will have to win both their remaining games and hope that U.P. Yoddha lose all of theirs in order to have any hope of qualifying for the Super Playoffs from Zone B. Despite their comfortable position, Haryana will still want to win all their remaining games so that they have a chance to finish at the top of their zone and get an advantage going into the Super Playoffs.
For Haryana, Vikas Kandola is once again expected to be rested after aggravating his injury in the previous match against U Mumba. However, they have enough back up in Deepak Kumar Dahiya, Surjeet Singh and Prashanth Kumar Rai to support their primary raider Wazir Singh. If their raiders come good, the defence led by captain Surender Nada and Mohit Chhillar will automatically become more effective.
The Telugu Titans fight is led by Rahul Chaudhari who of late has been justifying his Raid machine tag. He has found support in Nilesh Salunke and Iranian all-rounder Mohsen Maghsoudlou. Defender Vishal Bhardwaj has been shining too and if Sombir and Farhad Milaghardan mange to help him in defence they could make life difficult for the Haryana raiders, thereby enabling their own raiders to put pressure on the opposition.
Khel Kabaddi Khiladi:
The Haryana captain scored consecutive High 5s in the side’s previous two games and will aim for another against the Titans. He is currently the league’s top defender.
Chaudhari has been his side’s top raider in their previous 3 games and scored a Super 10 in each of them. If his form continues, he could single-handedly take down the Haryana defence.
Match 114 (Zone A): Jaipur Pink Panthers vs U Mumba
Head-to-head: Jaipur Pink Panthers 4-6 U Mumba
Jaipur Pink Panthers have games in hand but will need to get some wins under their belt to get their confidence going. U Mumba, on the other hand, don’t have that advantage and a loss in any of their remaining games could mean the end of their Season 5 campaign.
The return of Jasvir Singh bodes well for the Pink Panthers. His combination with Pawan Kumar and Tushar Patil is good enough to bring any defensive line-up under pressure. Captain Manjeet Chhillar’s inability to perform consistently in defence though has weakened the side on many occasions and if he is taken out of the equation, the Jaipur defence looks quite ordinary.
In the U Mumba camp, Kashiling Adake’s injury is a cause for worry and the Mumbai outfit will hope their star raider is back to his 100 percent against Jaipur. Both the Mumba defenders - Kuldeep Singh and Surinder Singh - failed in their loss against Haryana in their last match. This put the pressure of defence on captain Anup Kumar who had to hold himself back from raiding on multiple occasions when the team could have used his experience in picking up bonuses. The defensive duo will need to up their game against Jaipur to make Anup more effective.
Khel Kabaddi Khiladi:
The raider wasn’t in the best of touches when Jaipur took on Gujarat but he was still their top-scorer and it shows how heavily the Panthers depend on him to get points.
In light of Adake’s recent injury, the U Mumba captain has been putting in a lot of raids and is currently the best all-round performer for his team. He currently has 125 points from 19 matches.
Catch the action live on the Star Sports network and hotstar from 7.30 pm onwards.