pro kabaddi
U Mumba are once again the favourites to win the tournament. Pictured: Players of U Mumba and Patna Pirates in action during the final match of Pro Kabaddi League at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi, on March 5, 2016.IANS

Prominent face of Indian television Kapil Sharma will be rendering the national anthem ahead of the start of the Pro Kabaddi season 4 matches. In the opening match of the season on Saturday, Puneri Paltan take on Telugu Titans, while former champions U Mumba and Jaipur Pink Panthers clash in the second match of the day.

Players of all teams | Full schedule of matches

Both matches of the day take place at the NSCI in Mumbai, where Puneri Paltan have decided to play their home matches this time around, along with U Mumba. The Pro Kabaddi season 2 champions are once again the favourites of the competition after reaching the finals of the one-of-a-kind league over all three seasons.

Their first match of season 4 also will be giving an indication at how their season would pan out going ahead. The Mumbai side have retained their star skipper Anup Kumar as his stellar experience has been crucial for U Mumba over the seasons. "U Mumba are always expected to reach at least the semifinals of the competition," said the two-time Asian Games gold medallist to DNA.

"Pressure is something that is always there. Sometimes, you tend to take things very easily as defending champions. Now we know that there is something that we have to win back."

Mumbai's opponents, Jaipur Pink Panthers, who were the inaugural champions of Pro Kabaddi, have roped in star raider Shabeer Bapu this time around and it will be interesting to see him start the season 4 campaign against his previous side. Retaining the likes of Rajesh Narwal and Jasvir Singh has also been a good step by the Abhishek Bachchan co-owned side.

Telugu Titans, meanwhile, are expected to have a tough time against Puneri Paltan in the first match of the day. The Pune side did far better last time than in their performances in the first two seasons by coming third in Pro Kabaddi earlier this year. The Titans, on their part, stood fifth.

Roping in the likes of Ajay Thakur and Somvir Shekhar did help the Pune side as the team started gelling well in the later part of last season, bagging big wins. Deepak Hooda, Manjeet Chhillar are the other big names in the Paltan squad, and there can also be a possibility to see the Pune side going all the way.

Telugu Titans, led by the ever-impressive Rahul Chaudhary, therefore need a good start to continue their consistent performances in Pro Kabaddi.

Where to watch live

Pro Kabaddi season 4 match 1: Puneri Paltan vs Telugu Titans will begin at 8 p.m. IST (3:30 p.m. BST) on July 25.

Pro Kabaddi season 4 match 2: U Mumba vs Jaipur Pink Panthers will begin at 9 p.m. IST (4:30 p.m. BST) on July 25.

Hindi Coverage - Star Gold

English Coverage - Star Sports 2/HD 2, Star Sports 3/HD 3

Telugu Coverage - Maa Movies

Kannada Coverage - Suvarna Plus

UK viewers can catch the action on Life OK

Live streaming will be available on Hotstar and Starsports.com 

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