Puneri Paltan renew hostilities with neighbours U Mumba in the second Maharashtra derby of vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7. U Mumba won the campaign’s first clash in Mumbai, but Puneri Paltan will be looking to make amends at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday. Beating U Mumba will be easier said than done though given the Season 2 champions head into the contest on the back of a crushing win over Jaipur Pink Panthers. Puneri Paltan, on the other hand, were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat in their last outing.
Match 75: Puneri Paltan vs U Mumba
Head-to-head: Puneri Paltan 5 – 9 U Mumba. 1 Tie.
Win rate: 33.33%
Best Raider: Manjeet
Best Defender: Surjeet Singh
Following their hard-fought loss against Haryana Steelers, Puneri Paltan have the perfect opportunity to leave Bengaluru with some momentum, as they battle Maharashtra rivals U Mumba in what promises to be a high-octane derby. Nitin Tomar showed glimpses of what he is capable of doing when in full flight in their last encounter. Coach Anup Kumar will be hoping Tomar can find more consistency and support Manjeet, who’s been their leading raid points scorer this season and is also capable of contributing in defence. Pankaj Mohite is another raider who has had his moments this year and can play a role against U Mumba. In defence, skipper Surjeet Singh has found form and led well in the last few games, but he requires a bit more help from his teammates. Balasaheb Jadhav, Sagar Krishna and Girish Ernak haven’t enjoyed the best of outings recently and will need to up their game against a potent U Mumba raid force.
Win rate: 50%
Best Raider: Abhishek Singh
Best Defender: Fazel Atrachali
Currently just on the edge of the top 6 in the standings, U Mumba will be hoping to move up the table by completing the double over their Maharashtra rivals. They won their last game in convincing fashion but have found it difficult to build momentum this season. A good run of results will certainly boost their chances of finishing in the top 6 and that should be enough incentive for the likes of Abhishek Singh, Arjun Deshwal, Athul MS and Rohit Baliyan to attack Puneri Paltan’s defence from the outset. Abhishek has been U Mumba’s best raider this season and finished with a spectacular Super 10 in their last match, while the rest have also had their moments and are capable of game-changing contributions. Their defence, meanwhile, has been expertly marshalled by ‘Sultan’ Fazel Atrachali. The Iranian powerhouse has demonstrated his dominance and leads his team as far as tackle points are concerned. Harendra Kumar has also grown in confidence as the season has progressed and picked up a High 5 in U Mumba’s last match.