Vivo Pro Kabaddi’s enthralling triple-header will play the perfect companion this weekend.
In the first game, U Mumba will take on the in-form Tamil Thalaivas, and later, U.P. Yoddha will face the Telugu Titans. In the main event, Jaipur Pink Panthers will go head-to-head against the Haryana Steelers in a battle for the fourth spot on the points table.
Check out our preview for all three games:
Match 95: U Mumba vs Tamil Thalaivas
Two straight losses have seen U Mumba slip to seventh on the points table, albeit only five points behind fourth-placed Haryana Steelers, who have played a game more. U Mumba’s raiding unit performed well in both games, but the usually sturdy defence had two weak performances, which led to them losing both matches. If U Mumba’s defence can tighten the screw on the Tamil Thalaivas’ raiding unit, they have the firepower to end their recent slump and climb back into the top six.
The Thalaivas enjoyed derby delight in each of their past two outings, as they registered two huge wins over the Bengaluru Bulls and the Telugu Titans and clawed their way into the playoff spots. Their defence was incredible in both games. They matched the Bulls’ raiding unit’s output with 17 points and outscored the Titans’ offence 17-13. The Thalaivas’ raiding duo of Manjeet and Ajinkya Pawar has also been in terrific form of late and have been key contributors in their team’s recent triumphs. The Thalaivas are peaking at the right time and would want to continue their surge up the points table with a third straight win on Saturday.
U Mumba vs Tamil Thalaivas head-to-head
U Mumba have four and lost only one of their six matches against Tamil Thalaivas in vivo Pro Kabaddi. This season’s first meeting between the two sides finished in a 30-30 tie.
Match 96: U.P. Yoddha vs Telugu Titans
U.P. Yoddha’s playoff credentials have taken a big hit, courtesy of four straight losses. Their famed defence has mustered only 33 tackle points during this barren run, while the Record-Breaker Pardeep Narwal has struggled to find any semblance of form. U.P. have held opponents to under 35 points only thrice in their last 11 matches. Their inability to limit the leakage has been their Achilles heel this season. While they are still in a decent position to push for a playoff spot, they need to improve significantly, especially on defence, to retain those hopes.
The Telugu Titans have tasted victory only once this season and remain rooted to the bottom of the points table. Their poor form can be credited to the unavailability of Baahubali Siddharth Desai and also Rajnish of late. Their thin raiding unit has made life difficult for their defence, and the results are evident. The Titans will play out the rest of the season with an eye towards the future but will hope to pick up a few wins along the way.
U.P. Yoddha vs Telugu Titans head-to-head
U.P. Yoddha hold a 5-2 lead in their head-to-head matches against the Telugu Titans. Two games between the sides have finished in a tie. In their first meeting this season, U.P. registered a 39-33 victory over their Titans.
Match 97: Jaipur Pink Panthers vs Haryana Steelers
The Jaipur Pink Panthers come into this game with confidence, having beaten the two teams on the points table in the last two outings. They beat the Patna Pirates by 21 points before handing Dabang Delhi K.C. a six-point loss in their previous match. Skipper Deepak Hooda has led by example with 20 points in his last two games. Arjun Deshwal had a rare off night against Delhi and will be looking to bounce back against the Steelers. The Pink Panthers can cut the gap to third-placed Bengaluru Bulls to just four points with a win on Saturday, and they will likely settle for nothing less.
In their last outing, the Steelers registered a massive 46-29 victory over the Bengal Warriors and jumped to fourth on the points table. Vikash Kandola and Vinay were terrific and combined for 18 raid points on the night. The defence also had a great outing and finished the night with 14 tackle points against a good raiding unit. When Haryana’s defence and offence both click, they are a force to be reckoned with, evidenced by their 17-point thumping of the Warriors. Coach Rakesh Kumar will want his team to emulate their performance against Bengal and add to the wins column on the standings.
Jaipur Pink Panthers vs Haryana Steelers head-to-head
The Jaipur Pink Panthers have won five and lost two of their nine matches against the Haryana Steelers. Two games between the sides have finished in a tie. They last met on Christmas Day earlier this season, where the Pink Panthers narrowly beat the Steelers 40-38.
PKL Schedule for Saturday, February 5
Match 95: U Mumba vs Tamil Thalaivas, 7:30 PM IST
Match 96: U.P. Yoddha vs Telugu Titans, 8:30 PM IST
Match 97: Jaipur Pink Panthers vs Haryana Steelers, 9:30 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.