The Steelers are in need of a win after two losses.
Haryana Steelers will lock horns with defending champions Bengal Warriors on Day 6 of Rivalry Week in Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8. The triple-header night will begin with the Steelers’ duel against Bengal. Haryana has been in good form throughout the season but will face a tough challenge in Bengal captain Maninder Singh. Both teams are in desperate need of a win to stay in the race for a playoff spot.
Dabang Delhi K.C will battle Bengaluru Bulls in the second PKL 8 match of the night. Dabang has been in good form with Vijay and Sandeep Narwal donning the all-rounder roles to perfection. The Bulls will once again be reliant on their captain Pawan Sehrawat to find the errors in Delhi’s experienced defence. The third match will see Gujarat Giants take on Patna Pirates.
Bengal needs a flawless end to the season
Defending champions Bengal Warriors are currently 12 points away from table toppers Dabang Delhi K.C. having played the same number of matches (15). The Warriors will need a near-perfect end to the season to ensure they remain with a chance to defend their title at the end of the month. Captain Maninder Singh has been the only consistent performer in the raiding department for Bengal with Sukesh Hegde and Mohammad Nabibakhsh failing to back him up.
Maninder has looked predictable in his last few outings, hovering around the left corner, and looking for quick bonus points. He will be up against Haryana’s Surender Nada which should lead to an interesting battle. The seasoned defender has often needed his cover defenders Jaideep and Mohit to bail him out of bad tackles. If Maninder can navigate his way past the impressive cover combination, Bengal will have a chance to win the PKL match.
Haryana is also in need of a win after two losses. The team’s raiders Vikash Kandola, Rohit Gulia and Vinay will need to target the right corner of Bengal. Ran Singh has ensured the left is secure, but Abozar Mighani has struggled with consistency on the other side of the mat. Young raider Meetu has also impressed Haryana’s recent outing and could be a late substitute to add more dynamism in the raids. The match has all the makings of a high-voltage encounter with both sides desperate for a win.
Bulls’ Plan B vs Delhi’s Plan B
Bengaluru Bulls’ win against U.P. Yoddha in their last outing showed how the team can cope without Pawan Sehrawat firing on all cylinders. The team has struggled whenever their captain went off the mat. But corner defenders Aman and Saurabh Nandal showed there is more to the Bulls with a defensive shut out. Bharat’s growing relevance as a secondary raider will add more belief in the Bulls camp. But they will be facing a Dabang side who have also figured out a plan to perform when their star raider Naveen Kumar is absent.
Delhi has relied on collective performances with Vijay and Sandeep Narwal leading the line. Their all-round abilities have allowed the likes of Neeraj Narwal and Ashu Malik to raid without pressure. The defence has looked better too with Manjeet Chhillar getting back to his lethal best. Delhi will know they need to stop Pawan Sehrawat to ensure they continue their winning run. Both teams occupy the top two positions on the points table but will know things can change quickly in PKL season 8.
Gujarat on the rise
Gujarat Giants are a side in form despite their position close to the bottom of the points table. In Ajay Kumar and Pardeep Kumar, they have identified two raiders capable of leading their attack. Coach Manpreet Singh has also been able to inspire his experienced defenders to find their form at the crucial stage of PKL 8. The key to unlocking Patna will be to attack from the first whistle.
The Pirates’ defence is known for an aggressive approach which can be used to their advantage by the Giants raiders. They should target Iranian left corner Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh who gets restless if he is not involved in the match.
Patna will be eyeing a win to keep them firmly anchored in the race for a playoff spot. For Gujarat, nothing short of a spectacular end to the PKL season will get them into the playoffs which should give them the license to be aggressive.