UP Yoddha take on Gujarat Giants in a key match of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 with both teams hoping to improve their position in the standings.
Pardeep Narwal has struggled to make an impact since joining UP from Patna Pirates and will be up against an experienced Giants defensive unit in what has the makings of an exciting match at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield.
Both UP Yoddha and Gujarat Giants have struggled in the first week of the season despite recruiting big names at the auctions. Giants coach Manpreet toughened his defence with the acquisition of Ravinder Pahal and Girish Maruti Ernak while UP Yoddha paid Rs 1.65 crore to get the services of star raider Pardeep Narwal.
But both the Gujarat defence and the UP attack have lacked the necessary sharpness required in PKL. Narwal’s lack of confidence will be a big worry for UP who will need either Surender Gill or Shrikanth Jadhav to pick up their game. In fact, it was young Rohit Tomar who impressed for UP in their loss against Jaipur which should spark an interesting team selection.
One nail-biting win and two narrow losses after a spirited performance has denied UP Yoddha a better rank on the points tally as they would have hoped for. But head coach Jasveer Singh is confident about the possibilities and is leaving no stone unturned to address the team’s lingering issues to overcome the slow start.
The Giants will be well-rested as they are taking the mat after a two-day break while UP will be back on the mat after just a day’s break and will be looking forward to consolidating their position on the points table. The game is expected to be a high-voltage one given that both the teams will be eager to earn their second win in the tournament so far.
UP Yoddha, put up a spirited display in a close encounter against Jaipur Pink Panthers but narrowly missed out losing the game 29-32.
Ahead of the match against the Giants, Jasveer Singh, Head Coach, UP Yoddha said, “We have had really close games so far and I am happy with both our defenders and raiders, but I also realise that we cannot leave the game till the final moments and that’s we will have to address in the season ahead. As a team, we need to press hard right from the start and I am confident that we will be able to do so from our next game.”
UP Yoddha’s performance against the giants statistically isn’t the best, but what definitely comes to their advantage is the fact that the last time they locked horns with Gujarat Giants, the Yoddha’s dominated the game with a comfortable 33-26 win.