Just when it seemed that the Tamil Thalaivas was building some momentum in their campaign with a win against U.P. Yoddha and a tie against the Haryana Steelers, they crashed to a heavy defeat against U Mumba.
To be fair to the Thalaivas, though, there have been many sides in the PKL this season that have fared the same fate against U Mumba. They will not pay too much heed to that loss and look at this match as one where they can pull off an upset.
The best raider for the Tamil Thalaivas has been their captain Ajay Thakur. With 109 points in this season of the PKL and 75 more than any other player on his side, it can be tempting to call the Tamil Thalaivas a one-man army.
Ajay Thakur, though, will have a very tough time breaking the Telugu Titans defense down. He can hopefully receive some help from Manjeet Chillar and Amit Hooda on his side to exert a similar level of control defensively.
Both the players have led the defense for the Tamil Thalaivas in the recent games. With 28 tackle points in total including six in the last win against U.P Yoddha, Amit Hooda is peaking at the right time. The Tamil Thalaivas now need to ensure the other players can rise up in a similar manner to provide a strong finish to the season.
The Telugu Titans come into this match with two losses in their last five matches including one shock defeat to U.P. Yoddha. Those missed points against an opponent that the Telugu Titans should have beaten ay come back to haunt the side in the end.
Zone B is very closely packed together right now and we may not know the teams qualifying for the Super Playoffs till the very end.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man, as they say and in this case, for the Telugu Titans, it is Rahul Chaudhari.
By far the best raider on this side, Rahul Chaudhari will have to be in peak form to score the points his side sometimes seems to lack. The Telugu Titans are a defensive oriented side and their tactics work accordingly.
This makes the role of Rahul Chaudhari as a top-quality raider even more crucial. The Tamil Thalaivas have some talented defensive players but teams have found a way past them this season and Chaudhari will want to do the same.
The real threat to the Tamil Thalaivas will come from Vishal Bhardwaj and Abozar Mohajermighani. Bhardwaj has 26 tackle points in six appearances while Abozar has 31 in eight. These are incredible numbers that signify the kind of hold these two players have exercised on the opposition.
If these two continue in the same form then the Telugu Titans should win this match comfortably.
The Telugu Titans hold a 4-0 advantage over the Tamil Thalaivas in head to head contests. This unbeaten streak is going to be tough to break for the Tamil Thailavas.
Both teams are in decent form coming into this match but the historical advantage, as well as the superiority of the defense, tilts things towards the Telugu Titans.
Back the Telugu Titans to win.