Puneri Paltan’s first home game sees them square off against Gujarat Fortunegiants at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Saturday with an aim to getting late momentum and pushing for a Playoffs spot. Gujarat Fortunegiants are currently eighth in the standings and a win could give them the impetus they need going into the remainder of their games with a positive mindset after their previous loss to U.P. Yoddha. Puneri Paltan faced a narrow loss to Bengal Warriors in their previous encounter after leading till the closing seconds and will want to overcome Gujarat Fortunegiants to get back to winning ways and go into their home leg with momentum on their side.
Match 89: Puneri Paltan vs Gujarat Fortunegiants
Head-to-head: Puneri Paltan 1 – 6 Gujarat Fortunegiants
Win Rate: 28.57%
Best Raider: Manjeet
Best Defender: PO Surjeet Singh
Missing out on Nitin Tomar’s services for a large part of their campaign has held Puneri Paltan’s offence back this season, with Manjeet and Pankaj Mohite stepping up in his absence. Mohite, who started off as an impact player coming off the bench, got a place in the starting seven against Bengal Warriors and immediately delivered with a Super 10. The team will have a lot of hopes from the youngster in their home leg where they will face a tough test over the week. Manjeet has shown tremendous all-round ability and his strong Ankle Holds could make as much of an impact against Gujarat Fortunegiants as his quick raids. The defence saw a revamp against Bengal Warriors with Girish Maruti Ernak and Hadi Tajik finding a place in the starting team. However, a defensive lapse in the closing seconds cost the team the match against Bengal Warriors and they will want to avoid any such errors by tightening their defence going forward.
Win Rate: 35.71%
Best Raider: Rohit Gulia
Best Defender: Sunil Kumar
Gujarat Fortunegiants’ season was undergoing a resurgence before their loss to U.P. Yoddha as they had lost just one of their previous four encounters before that. However, in spite of some brilliant individual performances, the team fell short against U.P. Yoddha. Sachin Tanwar scored a Super 10 in that match while Sunil Kumar scored 6 tackle points and a touch point. But the remaining 9 players who took the mat through the match were able to score only a combined 6 points which cost the team the match. Greater consistency from the other defenders – Ankit, Parvesh Bhainswal and Sumit – will be needed of the team is to keep their Playoffs hopes alive. Rohit Gulia, the team’s highest-scoring raider so far, also managed just 2 bonus and zero touch points in his 11 raids. His performance will be critical against Puneri Paltan’s experienced defence.