The top three of the vivo Pro Kabaddi standings could get a big makeover after today’s intriguing double-header.

In the first game, the in-form Patna Pirates will take on the gritty Tamil Thalaivas, and later, the Bengaluru Bulls will face the Jaipur Pink Panthers. 

Check out our preview for both matches:

Match 36: Patna Pirates vs. Tamil Thalaivas

Bar the blemish against U.P. Yoddha, Patna Pirates have been perfect in vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 8. They have won 80% of their games this season, the highest in the league, and have won three on the trot. Their raiding trio of Monu Goyat, Prashanth Kumar Rai and Sachin has been the key to their success this season. Patna’s defence has also been spectacular. The Pirates average 12.6 tackle points per game, the most in the league this season. They look like a well-oiled machine on both sides of the mat and will be aiming to ascend to the top of the table with a win on Thursday.

The Tamil Thalaivas have lost only one game this season but will consider themselves unlucky to have won only two. They have managed to build a substantial lead in all but one of their six games this season but have failed to capitalize adequately. Their defence is statistically one of the most potent in the league. This season, they have the second-most tackle points, just one behind Bengaluru Bulls. Sumit and Surjeet Singh are in the top three tackle points scorers this year and have been the leaders of that defensive unit. If the Thalaivas can ensure they hold onto big leads, they will be a tough assignment for any team this season.  

Patna Pirates vs. Tamil Thalaivas head-to-head

The Patna Pirates have played eight games against the Tamil Thalaivas and have won five, losing only six. The teams shared the spoils on one occasion.  

Match 37: Bengaluru Bulls vs. Jaipur Pink Panthers

The Bengaluru Bulls are on a five-game unbeaten run, the longest in the league behind Dabang Delhi K.C., the last undefeated team this season. The Bulls raiding unit, led by Pawan Sehrawat, was never a problem, but their defence has surprised everyone this season. Since their dismal defensive display in their season-opener, Bengaluru’s defence has been stellar. They currently have the most tackle points in the league (65) but do not have in a single defender in the top five tackle points scorers, showcasing that they are a well-drilled unit not reliant on individuals. The Bulls will aim to continue their unbeaten run and stay in the top 2 of the standings.

The Jaipur Pink Panthers haven’t had a great start to their campaign and are currently 10th on the points table, having played a game fewer than all but one team above them. They have lost two on the trot and will be looking to avoid a hattrick on Thursday. The Panthers have been inconsistent outside of Arjun Deshwal, who ranks second in the league in average raid points this season. Deepak Hooda is the team’s second-highest points scorer with 32, less than half of Deshwal’s tally. Jaipur boasts of big names, but they haven’t stepped up so far this season. A win over an in-form team like the Bengaluru Bulls could provide the spark that ignites their campaign.

Bengaluru Bulls vs. Jaipur Pink Panthers head-to-head

Through 13 matches, the Panthers hold a 7-5 lead over Bengaluru Bulls in their head-to-head clashes. One game between the two teams finished in a tie. 

PKL Schedule for Thursday, January 6 

Match 36: Patna Pirates vs. Tamil Thalaivas, 7:30 PM IST

Match 37: Bengaluru Bulls vs. Jaipur Pink Panthers, 8:30 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.