pro kabaddi
Patna Pirates thrashed Puneri Paltan the last time they met in the competition. Pictured: Players of Patna Pirates and Puneri Paltan in action during the Pro Kabaddi League semi final match at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi, on March 4, 2016.IANS

Defending champions Patna Pirates open their campaign in the Pro Kabaddi season 4 on Monday against Puneri Paltan at the NSCI in Mumbai. While they are expected to get off the mark in a stunning fashion and replicate their performances of the previous season, the Pirates may not find it easy at all against the Pune side.

Here's why: The side led by Manjeet Chhillar have got a superb start to their campaign, winning their previous two games of the competition with elan. While they got past Telugu Titans 28-24 in the opening game of the season, they thrashed Pro Kabaddi season 2 champions U Mumba 41-19 in a completely one-sided Maharashtra derby on Sunday.

Manjeet led from the front in both the games, while Ajay Thakur remained sensational for Puneri Paltan against U Mumba, as he picked up as many as 12 raid points.

Patna Pirates, led by Dharmaraj Cheralathan, have to really put their best foot forward now to stop the Pune side from gaining momentum early on in the season. The Patna side have retained the likes of Pardeep Narwal and Rajesh Mondal, and besides the duo, they have a relatively new team this time around.

"The team is gelling really well and I hope we can replicate what Pirates achieved in the last season," Dharmaraj told Sportskeeda. "All the teams are pretty good and all will have an equal chance at winning the league. However, we are training hard and the team has a great mix that makes it one of the top contenders for the title."

Patna Pirates overwhelmed Puneri Paltan with a 40-21 scoreline in the semifinals of the Pro Kabaddi season 3 earlier this year.

Where to watch live:

The match between Puneri Paltan and Patna Pirates will begin at 9 p.m. IST (4:30 p.m. BST) on June 27.

Hindi Coverage - Star Gold, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD 3

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

Live streaming will be available on Hotstar and