The Telugu Titans are at the stage in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season 8 where they have nothing to play for except pride. Lying at the bottom of the points table, the Titans suffered another heavy defeat on Saturday when they lost 31-51 to Puneri Paltan.
At the other end of the spectrum is the Patna Pirates. The 2017 champions sit masterfully at the top of the points table and have already booked their spot in the playoffs. Their last match saw an easy 43-26 win over Puneri Paltan.
The Pirates will now go up against the seemingly hopeless Titans in a match that looks like a David vs. Goliath contest. However, the result of this match may not be all that certain. The Titans have nothing more to lose and Patna may want to experiment a bit, which opens up the possibility of a mini upset.
Patna Pirates vs Telugu Titans Probable Playing 7s
While the team is doing as well as Patna are currently, there is no reason to tinker around with the composition of the side. Still, the Pirates may give more on-mat time to their fringe players by substituting them early in the game.
Captain Prashanth Kumar Rai failed to open his account in the game against the Paltan. This may bring Monu Goyat back in the starting 7. Sachin and Guman Singh are likely to start again. But it would be a difficult decision to drop the captain.
The defense is doing fine with Mohammadreza Shadloui and Neeraj Kumar looking good. Shubham Kumar may be brought into the starting 7 to make the defense even stronger. All-rounder Sajin C may have to return to the substitute’s bench.
Probable Starting 7: Prashanth Kumar Rai, Sachin, Guman Singh, Monu Goyat, Shubham Shinde, Mohammadreza Shadloui, Neeraj Kumar
Despite the miserable state that the Titans find themselves in, some positives have emerged for them this season. The defense of the Telugu side has performed reasonably well. Even in the big loss to Puneri Paltan, the defense managed to pull off many super tackles.
The raiders though, haven’t set the mat on fire. Ankit Beniwal was the lone shining star in this department during the last game as he scored 11 points. The absence of Rajnish has hurt the team greatly. If he isn’t back for this game, things may appear even gloomier for the Titans.
Probable Starting 7: Ankit Beniwal, Surinder Singh, Adarsh T, Akash Choudhary, Prince D, Galla Raju, Palla Ramakrishna
Today’s PKL Match Prediction
Even though upsets happen all the time in sports and Telugu Titans are not as bad as this season’s results suggest, it would be difficult for them to stop the Pirate. The defense of the Titans is their biggest strength but the raiding party of Patna is more than capable of overcoming any team. So, another victory is expected for the team from Patna.
Prediction: Patna Pirates to win.