It's been a while since the Patna Pirates were last seen on the mat, but today they will mark their return in a blockbuster clash. 

The three-time champions will take on Tamil Thalaivas in a vital contest for both sides. 

Check out our preview for the game:

Match 80: Patna Pirates vs Tamil Thalaivas 

The Pirates' last outing on January 18th finished 32-29 in favour of Dabang Delhi K.C. Patna has lost only three of its 11 matches so far this season and have been difficult to beat. That is primarily due to their excellent defensive unit, which ranks first in the league in average tackle points (11.82). Their raiding unit started the season brightly, but has waned in the last few outings, dropping their league rank to 10th. Despite all the chaos around them on the points table, the Pirates remain in the top six and could leapfrog to second on the points table with a win on Friday.

The Thalaivas have slipped to 10th in the league standings, but have atleast two games in hand on the teams above them. The Thalaivas are averaging 10.58 tackle points per game, a mark bettered only by the Puneri Paltan and the Thalaivas. Their raiding unit is only slightly better than Patna's, and is averaging 19 points per game. The Thalaivas are winless in their last four outings and desperately need a win to get their season back on track. 

Patna Pirates vs Tamil Thalaivas head-to-head

Tamil Thalaivas have won only two of their nine matches against the Patna Pirates and have lost five. Two games between the teams, including their meeting earlier this season, have finished in a tie.

PKL Schedule for Friday, January 28

Match 80: Puneri Paltan vs Tamil Thalaivas, 7:30 PM IST

Where to watch vivo Pro Kabaddi live?

Catch all the LIVE action from vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 8 on the Star Sports Network and LIVE streaming on Disney+Hotstar.