Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], January 23 (ANI): Defending champions Bengal Warriors will battle Jaipur Pink Panthers on Monday in the ongoing Pro Kabaddi League Season 8. The Warriors have had a mixed start to the season with only Maninder Singh being consistent with his form for coach BC Ramesh's men. In-form Puneri Paltan will lock horns with Dabang Delhi KC in the second encounter of the night. Both the matches will be held at the Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru.
Bengal Warriors are urgently in need of a plan B with no one backing up the incredible performances from their captain Maninder Singh. The raiding department has looked particularly weak with all-rounder Mohammad Nabibakhsh struggling to replicate his Season 7 form. Fellow Irani Abozar Mighani has also been error-prone in the right corner position which might prompt some changes in the line-up.
The defence will need to be water-tight against Jaipur's raiding duo of Arjun Deshwal and Deepak Hooda. The former was impressive in his outing against the Tamil Thalaivas and will be looking to do the same against Bengal. But in Ran Singh, he faces an aggressive corner defender who will be keen to win the personal battle. The Panthers' defence has looked leaky throughout the tournament despite occasional big performances from Sahul Kumar and Sandeep Dhull.
With Naveen Kumar still nursing an injury, Delhi will once again rely on their senior pros to clinch the points. Sandeep Narwal has certainly risen to the occasion, finding points as a raider with his quick movement and strength. All-rounder Vijay has also chipped in with crucial points. But it is the defence that remains a worry with Manjeet Chhillar and Jeeva Kumar failing to evade fast raiders.
In Mohit Goyat and Aslam Inamdar, Delhi will face the pace and dynamism of the youth. The raiding duo, who operates on the left and right sides respectively, can cause a lot of confusion on the mat. Nitin Tomar's presence will be crucial on the mat too. His guidance has proven to be the difference in most of Pune's good performances. Delhi are the superior side based on results this season and experience, but the form is certainly with the Pune side. (ANI)