Puneri Paltan would have been very confident of going up against the Tamil Thalaivas in their last game. After all, Pune had won its last three matches on the trot including a couple of nail-biters against U Mumba and the Bengaluru Bulls.
The Tamil Thalaivas, though, showed that the Pune defense can be penetrated. The Pune team suffered an all-out for the first time in the competition and then promptly suffered another. Girish Maruti Ernak and his defensive unit will be keen to put in a better performance against the U.P Yoddha.
Ravi Kumar, Akshay Jadhav, and Shubham Shinde have been playing a vital role in the defense and that is why Pune seems to be able to keep its opponents to around 30 points in most games. This opens the door for the Puneri Paltan raiders Nitin Tomar, More GB, and Monu to come in and attack the opposition.
It is a good strategy that has borne fruit in the past and has seen Pune rise to the top of the Zone A standings.
U.P Yoddha reached the Super Playoffs for the first time last season and there was a lot of expectation from the side coming into Pro Kabaddi 6. The team managed a creditable 40-40 tie against the Bengal Warriors in their last game but their search for the second win still eludes them.
U.P Yoddha has had some very good individual performances but as a team, the results have not quite stacked up. Prashanth Kumar Rai, Rishank Devadiga, and Shrikanth Jadhav have performed admirably for U.P Yoddha in the previous matches.
Perhaps where the team is falling behind is its inexperienced defensive unit. Nitish Kumar and Sagar Krishna have manned the corners with enthusiasm but talented raiders have been able to poke holes in the U.P Yoddha defense.
There have been two matches played between the Puneri Paltan and U.P. Yoddha in the past. Both those matches have been won by Puneri Paltan who will be very much aware of this spotless record against their opponents.
U.P Yoddha has shown a lot of heart in its previous games, especially on the offensive side. Against a top-side like Puneri Paltan, though, there can be no mistakes. Puneri Paltan would be tiring physically after playing a non-stop run of home matches but it will want to finish on a high.
We think that the home side has the necessary nous in attack and the power in defense to be able to strangle the U.P Yoddha with ease.
Back the Puneri Paltan to win.