Defending champions U Mumba take on Bengaluru Bulls on Wednesday in the penultimate Pro Kabaddi League 2016 match of the Kolkata leg.
The match, to be played at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium, is a mouthwatering one, as it is a repeat of last year's final, which saw U Mumba beat Bengaluru Bulls by a 36-30 scoreline to win the Pro Kabaddi League 2015 title at the NSCI Stadium in Mumbai.
That was just around six months back. And the battleground is drawn once again in the third season of Pro Kabaddi.
This time however, neither Bengaluru Bulls nor U Mumba occupy any of the top four positions on the table. While the almost-invincible U Mumba of the previous season is fifth in the table with two wins and two losses, Bengaluru Bulls are sixth with two wins and three losses this season.
It has been a very topsy-turvy campaign for U Mumba this time, as they won their opening match of the competition against Telugu Titans, but lost their second against Jaipur Pink Panthers. Again, they won their third match of the competition against Dabang Delhi, but lost the fourth and their last match against leaders Patna Pirates.
The Patna side outclassed U Mumba, beating them by 14 points in Bengaluru. Mumbai skipper Anup Kumar, defender Jeeva Kumar and Bhupender Singh were the only performers on the day.
Star raider Shabeer Bapu, who was the MVP for U Mumba in their Pro Kabaddi League 2015 final against Bengaluru Bulls, has not been up to the mark this season. And it needs to be seen whether he can step up now.
Bengaluru Bulls have only won against rockbottom side Dabang Delhi and inaugural Pro Kabaddi winners Jaipur Pink Panthers so far this season. Their latest fixture turned out to be a nine-point loss to the Telugu Titans.
Bulls skipper Surjeet Narwal, along with raiders Amit Rathi and Shrikanth Tewthia, tried their best, but couldn't do enough to stop the Titans from clinching victory.
Squads: U Mumba – Anup Kumar (C), Anoop EV, Prapanjan, Masayuki Shimokava, Pawan Kumar, Pradeep Kumar, Rishank Devadiga, Shabeer Bapu, Suresh Kumar, Vinod Paulyas, Jeeva G, Jeeva Kumar, Mohit Chhillar, Surender Nada, Vishal Mane, Bhupendra Singh, Jawahar Vivek, Abolfazel M, Fazel Atrachali, Hadi Tajik, Ravi Kumar.
Bengaluru Bulls – Surjeet Narwal (C), Amit Rathi, Deepak Dahiya, Sinotharan, Vaibhav Kale, Vinoth Kumar, Ashish S, Ketut Ariana, Vijender Singh, Satish Kumar, R Pandu, Michal Spiczko, Deepak Kumar, Parmod Narwal, Preetam Chhillar, Shashank Wankhede, Shrikant Tewthia.
Where to Watch Live:
The match between U Mumba and Bengaluru Bulls will begin at 8 pm IST (2:30 pm GMT) on Wednesday, 10 February.
Pro Kabaddi League 2016: U Mumba vs Bengaluru Bulls can be caught LIVE on the Star Sports Network.
Hindi Coverage - Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD 3, Star Gold
English Coverage - Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD 2
Telugu Coverage - Maa Movies
Kannada Coverage - Suvarna Plus
UK viewers can catch the action on Life OK