It is not unfair to say that the fortunes of Patna Pirates rise and fall with Pardeep Narwal at this point in time. He has scored 197 raid points this season, the second best in the league, and actually averages more points per game than any other player.
If Pardeep continues his form, there is no reason why he could not overtake Siddharth Desai in the total points scored.
Pardeep Narwal will be aware that he is up against an in-form defense in U.P Yoddha. He has been very good with his footwork and picking out targets to score on so far so this could be a very good contest.
Jaideep will also have a very important role to play for the Patna Pirates in this match. Jaideep is having his best season in the PKL so far but this contest against three quality raiders could be a difficult one.
With 55 tackle points in 18 games, Jaideep has been the best defender for the Patna Pirates by far. He has shown himself to be more than capable of leading the defense. If he can hold up his end of the mat then Pardeep Narwal can run riot.
Nitesh Kumar has been sensational for U.P Yoddha. He is the second best defender in the Pro Kabaddi League in terms of tackle points with 72 to his name. He has established himself as one of the most reliable defensive players in the league and been particularly good against the leading raiders of the opposition.
Nitesh Kumar also has 6 Super Tackles in the PKL, which is the fourth best, comes into this match with good form as well. He scored a High-5 in the last match and should have plenty of confidence ahead of this crucial encounter.
If Nitesh Kumar and company are able to tie the Patna Pirates down then the U.P Yoddha trio of raiders could win them the match. Shrikanth Jadhav, Rishank Devadiga, and Prashanth Kumar Rai are excellent raiders that are all capable of winning the game on a good day.
Shrikanth Jadhav, who has 113 points, to his name in this season of the PKL, is going to be the lead raider of the side. His specialty has been scoring in Do or Die Raid situations. He shows tremendous calm under pressure situations and that is what is required from him in this match as well.
The Patna Pirates lead the head to head against U. P Yoddha 3-1 after five matches with the remaining match being a tie. The Patna Pirates have lost two out of their last three matches while U.P Yoddha has not suffered a loss in its last three matches.
We think that U. P Yoddha has a better chance of winning this match thanks to some better recent form. The Patna Pirates are completely dependent on Pardeep Narwal who can be neutralized by Nitesh Kumar.
Back U.P Yoddha to win.