Dabang Delhi K.C. managed to put up a good fight against the U.P Yoddha side in their last encounter but could not convert that performance into a victory. Excellent performances from their young Raiders, Chandran Ranjit and Naveen Kumar kept them in the game till the very end.
Both of them will be expected to put in a similar performance this time around. Naveen Kumar scored 13 points in his last outing while Chandran Ranjit also managed to get a Super-10 for himself. Equally important for Delhi will be the performance of its defense. Neutralizing Nitin Tomar is not going to be an easy job but that is where the experience of Ravinder Pahal will come in handy.
Pahal has been the best defender for Delhi by far but his record against Tomar is poor. If he can improve that in this game then Delhi will have a shot at winning its second game against Pune this season.
Puneri Paltan will be concerned that they have now lost three matches on the trot even as Nitin Tomar continues to set the mat ablaze. He became the first player this season to score 100 raid points and will be full of confidence going into this match against Delhi.
The problem for Pune has been that apart from Tomar, the other players have been quite inconsistent. Parvesh made his Pro Kabaddi debut in the last match and impressed but he is still an unproven quantity on the mat.
Girish Maruti Ernak has collected 29 tackle points in the season so far and the Pune skipper has led from the front in every game. He is the heart and soul of the Puneri Paltan defense. His experience matches up quite nicely when compared to the young Raiders that Delhi will throw at him but underestimating the opponent would not be a wise move.
Puneri Paltan suffered what can be termed as a shock defeat the last time these two teams met and they are not carrying the best of form with them into this encounter either. It will be interesting to see if Delhi can take full advantage in this match again.
The head to head after 12 matches is firmly in favor of the Puneri Paltan. They have won 7 out of these 12 matches and lost only 4. The remaining match was a tie. Pune also won all three games that it played against Delhi last season. It will be very keen to show that the loss to Delhi in the last game was an outlier.
Pune seems to be too dependent on Nitin Tomar to do the scoring and even though Girish Maruti Ernak has led the defense solidly, mistakes are creeping in there as well. Delhi has played aggressively and backed its young raiders to do the damage. We think they may be able to improve their record against Pune further.
Back Dabang Delhi K.C. to win.