Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], January 20 (ANI): Dabang Delhi KC will battle neighbours Haryana Steelers on Thursday in Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season eight.
Raider Naveen Kumar's absence has affected Delhi's form but in Vijay and Sandeep Narwal, they have found a way to soften the impact. Both the all-rounders had a great outing against Patna Pirates and will fancy their chances against Haryana Steelers.
The second game of the night will see defending champions Bengal Warriors lock horns with U.P. Yoddha.
Maninder Singh has been excellent for the Warriors in Season 8, but he will be up against an in-form corner combination in Yoddha's Nitesh Kumar and Sumit. Both the matches will be held at the Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru.
Delhi's Plan B
Delhi managed to stop Haryana Steelers' raiders in their previous match with aggressive defending. They will need to do the same once again with Steelers' Vikash Kandola and Meetu slowly gaining in confidence.
Despite the wealth of attackers in their squad, coach Rakesh Kumar has often relied on his defenders to win the matches. In Jaideep, Mohit and Surender Nada, he has three top-quality defenders who will look forward to the opportunity of playing a Naveen-less Delhi.
It is not clear if Naveen Kumar will recover from his knee injury for the match, but Delhi will need to have their Plan B even if he is on the mat. All-rounders Vijay and Sandeep Narwal have shown their abilities to play secondary roles in the raiding department.
Vijay scored 24 points in Delhi's last 3 matches and will most likely be their go-to man in attack. Manjeet Chhillar and Jeeva Kumar have bettered their performances in the recent matches which will be a big positive for the Season 7 runners-up.
Clash of the raiding Titans
The match between Bengal and U.P. will feature three great raiders in action - Powerhouse Maninder Singh, bonus and dubki exponent Pardeep Narwal, and the mastermind Surender Gill.
Maninder Singh has been single-handedly dragging the defending champions this season with fellow raiders struggling. He scored 39 points in Week 4 of PKL which helped Bengal pick up two wins and a tie.
Surender Gill, meanwhile, had 41 points in the same week. He, along with the resurgent Pardeep Narwal, has been vital in changing U.P.'s fortunes in recent matches.
The defences will most likely decide which team comes out on top. Ran Singh's presence in the left corner has significantly strengthened the Warriors defence while Yoddha's corner combination of Sumit and Nitesh Kumar is looking good. (ANI)