Having narrowly missed out on making it to the final in Season 6, U.P. Yoddha will look to do one better in Season 7 and aim to hit the ground running in their first match against Bengal Warriors at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on Wednesday. The test will, however, be far from an easy one considering Bengal Warriors, too, reached the playoffs last season and going into VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 7, have a squad to worry any team in the competition.
Match 7: U.P. Yoddha vs Bengal Warriors
Head-to-head: U.P. Yoddha 1 – 2 Bengal Warriors. 3 Ties.
Like in Season 6, U.P. Yoddha have assembled a formidable team for this campaign, particularly in the raiding department. With the star raiding trio of Monu Goyat, Shrikant Jadhav and Rishank Devadiga on the teamsheet, U.P. Yoddha have a versatile offence which can, on their day, win a match on their own. Iranian all-rounder Mohsen Maghsoudlou has also joined the fray and his ability to contribute on both sides of the mat can come in extremely handy at any point in a match. In captain Nitesh Kumar - the man who, last season, became the first defender in VIVO Pro Kabaddi history to score 100 tackle points in a single season - U.P. Yoddha have a star leading their defence, which also boasts of all-rounders Narender and Sachin Kumar.
Captain and star raider Maninder Singh will shoulder the responsibility of spearheading Bengal Warriors' offence yet again and will have some very able support in K. Prapanjan and Sukesh Hegde. Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh is yet to make his VIVO Pro Kabaddi debut but taking into account his performances on the international stage and in the All-Star match, Bengal Warriors fans have reasons to be excited about the Iranian all-rounder. In defence, veteran Jeeva Kumar will be aided by the likes of Baldev Singh and Rinku Narwal, making them an outstanding defensive unit, which will look to take the game to the opposition raiders.