Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], January 22 (ANI): In-form UP Yoddha will lock horns with Haryana Steelers on Sunday in the ongoing Pro Kabaddi League Season 8. Yoddha pulled off an incredible win against Bengal Warriors in their previous outing thanks to another resolute performance from their defence. They will however be facing a Haryana Steelers team who beat the mighty Dabang Delhi in their last encounter.
The second game of the night will feature Gujarat Giants and Bengaluru Bulls. The Bulls will be looking to bounce back from an unlucky loss against the Warriors. Both the matches will be held at the Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru.
The Yoddha defence has been winning the plaudits in their recent wins, but Pardeep Narwal's form will add another weapon into their already strong armoury. Surender Gill has been excellent for UP throughout season 8 but Pardeep's form means they now have a serious double-headed attack targeting both sides of the mat.
UP are on a three-match winning streak but Haryana will pose a different threat on Sunday. In Vikash Kandola, they have a star raider who can expose even the best defences, while the combination of Jaideep and Surender Nada has worked wonders in their backline. The match could well be decided on raider Surender Gill's personal battle with Surender Nada on the left. The experienced left corner defender will need his right cover to be in excellent form to stop the insatiable Surender Gill.
Give Pawan Sehrawat time on the mat, he will hurt you! Every team in the Pro Kabaddi League should know this as a golden rule by now. But how do you stop the 'High-Flyer'? Especially with his ability to change sides at will.
Gujarat coach Manpreet Singh certainly loves a challenge and will be hoping to inspire his star-packed defence to do what most teams have failed in this tournament. Girish Ernak's presence in the left corner will be crucial to their chances. The experienced defender missed their previous outing due to an injury. Luckily for Gujarat, the seasoned cover combination of Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal is starting to find their form. The two were mammoth in their win against Tamil Thalaivas.
Bengaluru's Bharat and Chandran Ranjit have donned the secondary raider roles to perfection to revive Pawan Sehrawat. Bharat has been particularly impressive, using his lanky body to pick bonus points and woo touches. The Gujarat raiders Rakesh S and Mahender Rajput will need to match that against a Bulls defence growing in confidence. Saurabh Nandal and Mahender Singh have been in good shape for the Season 6 winners.
Saurabh's success has been down to his powerful holds. He has stopped most raiders who have tried jumping above him - a trap set up by kneeling down early to entice the attackers. The raiders should hence look for a feint than take the predictable move over his top. Bengaluru won the reverse fixture with a 9-point margin but expect this match to be fiercely-contested. (ANI)