Puneri Paltan go up against the Bengal Warriors in the Pro Kabaddi League at the Sri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Wednesday.
This is a fight between the lowest ranked teams in the eight-team tournament. Bengal Warriors are in seventh place while Puneri Paltan languish at the bottom. Both teams appear terribly short of confidence, and at this point they need a win to get them going. The Warriors could not come out triumphant in the last match against the Jaipur Pink Panthers, who weren't at their best. The Warriors could not find a way to break through the Pink Panthers' defence.
In their eight games, Bengal have been victorious in only three. If they are to pose some sort of a threat in this competition they will have start chalking up more wins. Undoubtedly, they have a good opportunity against the bottom of the table Puneri Paltan. The boys from Pune have been exposed defensively on numerous occasions. Even in their last encounter against the Telugu Titans, the side from Pune could do very little when attacked.
For the Warriors the heartening thing is that they held their own against a strong outfit like the Pink Panthers. Here they lost the game because they failed to take their chances. At one point when there were only three Pink Panthers on the floor, the Warriors still could not seize the advantage by scoring.
It was here that Bengal could've taken the lead, but instead, Jaipur, spurred on by their great defensive effort, went ahead and racked up several points. From then, Bengal were playing catch up. In the game against Puneri Paltan they would look to strike early. A lot rests on Nitin Madane and Jang Kun Lee.
Puneri Paltan will be hoping home support gets them going. They are playing their second game in a row. They suffered another confidence sapping loss to the Telugu Titans on Tuesday. If they are to make an impact against Bengal they will have to put that loss behind them.
Earlier in the tournament, they beat a strong team like the Bengaluru Bulls in a tightly-contested match. The boys from Pune have given glimpses that they can hold their nerve and hit back. In almost all their games, however, they have conceded early leads and from then on they've always been on the backfoot.
The defence needs bolstering as fast as possible especially as they go up against the likes of Madane and Lee. On the other hand, the Paltan attack against a suspect Warriors defence can seize the advantage. They would be hoping this happens.
Bengal Warriors and Puneri Paltan are desperate for a win to improve their standing in the league -- a tight game is on the cards.
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