The action shifts to Greater Noida as U.P. Yoddha start their home leg against Tamil Thalaivas at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in a Zone B encounter on Friday. Having won the first encounter between the sides this season, U.P. Yoddha will look to win the maiden VIVO Pro Kabaddi match in Greater Noida as they seek to go top of their zone.

U.P. Yoddha have succumbed to defeat only once and have come out on top in two encounters in their 4 meetings so far in VIVO Pro Kabaddi. The two sides have always produced close encounters and another one will mean the fans are in for a treat.

Match 44 (Zone B): U.P. Yoddha vs Tamil Thalaivas

Head-to-head: U.P. Yoddha 2-1 Tamil Thalaivas. 1 tie

U.P. Yoddha put in a brilliant raiding performance as they narrowly beat Dabang Delhi K.C. in their previous match. Their two key raiders managed Super 10s as young Shrikant Jadhav returned with 12 points and Prashanth Kumar Rai managed 11 points. The duo accounted for 23 of the 25 raid points in the match, which means Tamil Thalaivas will have to bolster their defence against them. U.P. Yoddha will hope for another strong performance from the two as they seek a second victory over Tamil Thalaivas this season.

Tamil Thalaivas lost their previous game against Gujarat Fortunegiants. Ajay Thakur however continued his excellent form as he notched up 7 raid points. Experienced raiders Sukesh Hegde and Jasvir Singh chipped in as well with 9 raid points between them. Amit Hooda was on a verge of a High 5 in the previous outing and he should be instrumental in containing Shrikant and Prashanth.

The big battle

Jeeva Kumar vs Ajay Thakur

Cover defender Jeeva Kumar and Ajay Thakur have served up some tasty battles in VIVO Pro Kabaddi. While Thakur has usually had the better of Jeeva when the two have gone head-to-head managing 13 raid points, Jeeva isn’t one to be left behind, having gone one up over Thakur 9 times. Thakur though has averaged 11 against U.P. Yoddha in 4 encounters while being tackled only once and this will give him an edge heading into the battle. Jeeva will be tasked with keeping Thakur quiet and will want to help his side get the better of Thakur.

Key Khiladi

Shrikant Jadhav - U.P. Yoddha

Shrikant Jadhav returned with 12 points against Dabang Delhi K.C. and is in excellent form. That he is being ably supported in the raiding department will only spur him on. U.P. Yoddha will want another good performance from the raider, particularly since Tamil Thalaivas have the seasoned Manjeet Chhillar and the in-form Amit Hooda in their ranks.

Manjeet Chhillar- Tamil Thalaivas

Having been the top defender for Tamil Thalaivas this season, Manjeet Chhillar has returned 24 points in 8 games. He averages 4 tackle points against U.P. Yoddha, higher than his season average of 3, and Tamil Thalaivas will hope his vast experience can inspire them back to winning ways.