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Mumbai Leg Preview: An explosive league stage comes to an explosive end

2.21K   //    29 Feb 2016, 15:19 IST
U Mumba Season 2 champions winners trophy Pro Kabaddi
U Mumba won the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi title at home last season

U Mumba will play hosts in the final leg of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi Season 3, with the league table delicately balanced. The defending champions need a win from their remaining four matches to ensure their spot in the knockout stages, and Telugu Titans have to hope for a few results to go in their favour. Meanwhile, both Puneri Paltan and Bengal Warriors will make it to the first semifinal of their Pro Kabaddi history with just one win.

The Mumbai leg kicks off with a repeat of the Season 1 final as Jaipur Pink Panthers face the home side to try and salvage some pride, having already exited the tournament. U Mumba, however, will be looking to exact revenge for their defeat to the Pink Panthers in Vizag.

The second match of the day will see Telugu Titans take on the league leaders Patna Pirates, who have refused to let their foot off the gas even after sealing their qualification. This is a must-win encounter for Rahul Chaudhari's men, and it promises to be a brilliant match.

Day 2 of the Mumbai leg will see the two teams vying for a semi-final berth go head to head in the Maharashtra derby. In a must-watch encounter U Mumba host Puneri Paltan, who are riding a six-match unbeaten streak. However, the Paltan's last defeat came at the hands of their U Mumba, and the Pune-based franchise will be eager to get one back on their rivals.

The Bengal Warriors then take on the hapless Bengaluru Bulls, who haven't won a match since 5th February. The fact that Nitin Tomar returned from injury in Bengal’s last win has given them an added boost, and they would deem anything less than an outright win in this encounter a huge disappointment.

All eyes will be on the second match of the day, when Telugu Titans look to become only the third team this season to get the better of Anup Kumar's U Mumba. The defending champions have lost only once at home - in the final of Season 1; no visiting team has been able to get the better of them in the league stage. That makes Telugu’s task all the more daunting, but it’s unlikely that they will back away from the challenge.

The Puneri Paltan vs Bengal Warriors match will kick off proceedings on the final day of the Mumbai leg. In a clash which could end up being a de facto quarter-final, both teams would look to do everything in their power to get the better of the other. Neither team has ever made it to the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi semi-final, so there’s certainly a lot at stake.

U Mumba should have a relatively easy end to the leg when they take on the league's whipping boys, Dabang Delhi. The Eagles lie at the bottom of the table and the home team will be eager to keep it that way as they look to end their home sojourn with a win.

With plenty of pivotal encounters in store, the crowd at the NSCI is set for an exciting four days of high-octane kabaddi. The final leg of the third season is expected to be the most explosive of all, as four teams vie for the final three semi-final spots. You wouldn’t want to miss it for the world!

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