U Mumba won its first match thanks to some stellar defense but was unable to repeat the same kind of success in the next one against Jaipur Pink panthers. Fazel Atrachali, Surender Singh, and Sandeep Narwal were found wanting against Deepak Niwas Hooda.
They must ensure the same thing does not happen against Nitin Tomar, another very talented raider.
So much of the U Mumba success depends on the form of Fazel Atrachali that we are sure he is going to be targeted by every single team he comes across.
The raiding department has been led admirably by Abhishek Singh. He has taken over in the absence of Siddharth Desai and ensured that U Mumba does not feel its ability to pick up raid points is compromised. We do feel that Abhishek Singh has some improvements he needs to make in terms of footwork and just being aggressive but he is definitely going to be one of the top-scoring raiders in 2019.
Dong Geon Lee played a crucial support role to Abhishek Singh in the previous match and showed the ability to pick up crucial raid points under pressure. He is probably going to get more time on the mat moving forward.
Nitin Tomar missed the first game for Puneri Paltan in PKL 2019 but he is expected to start for them against U Mumba. He pulled a muscle and was ruled out of their opening game and it will be a great loss to the side if he is not able to get fit in time for the match against U Mumba.
We don’t think Puneri Paltan can win against U Mumba without Nitin Tomar.
If, however, he does make it back on to the mat then his current form will be interesting to watch. Nitin Tomar in full form and completely fit is one of the best raiders in the PKL but if he is worried about worsening an injury or is not 100% fit then his performances could be hampered.
Pawan Kadian picked up the mantle of being the lead raider against the Haryana Steelers and he did a decent job. He is better suited to be the backup raider at this point in his career, though.
Surjeet Singh and Girish Maruti Ernak will lead the defense and they are very dependable performers. They may be hard-pressed to keep Abhishek Singh quiet in this match, though.
U Mumba has won 8 out of the 14 matches played between these two sides. One match has ended in a tie and Puneri Paltan has won the remaining 5. Interestingly, Puneri Paltan managed to beat U Mumba twice in the last season even as they were dominating every other side in the league.
There is a big question mark on the availability, fitness, and form of Nitin Tomar. He is so influential to the Puneri Paltan side that we cannot recommend betting on them until he is proven to be fully fit. U Mumba has a strong defense and Abhishek Singh in excellent form to take advantage.
Bet on U Mumba to win.