Pro Kabaddi League 2018/19, Qualifier 2: Gujarat Fortunegiants vs U.P. Yoddha | Match Preview, Predicted Lineups, When & Where to watch
In Qualifier 2 of PKL 2018, Gujarat Fortunegiants take on the U.P. Yoddha at the NSCI Dome at SVP Stadium in Mumbai on January 3rd, Thursday at 8 pm IST.
The Fortunegiants lost their first chance to make it to the finals with a 29-41 defeat to the Bengaluru Bulls in yesterday evening's encounter.
They were undone by their poor defense, which otherwise had been the highlight of their campaign this season.
Their defense was indecisive and leaked points regularly to close the door on their win. Their captain, Sunil Kumar and top defender Parvesh Bhainswal, who had been the backbone of their defense, crumbled under pressure on the night and could manage just a single point between themselves, as the Fortunegiants ended up with just 6 tackle points.
Their raiding unit had a much better outing and coach, Manpreet Singh would hope for them to continue in the same vein on Thursday. Sachin was the top scorer with 10 points.
They have had a fairytale run since their win against the Haryana Steelers in Match 98 of the competition, which kick-started a resurgence of sorts and has led them to Qualifier 2, just one step away from making it to the finals.
They have grown in confidence with every win, and their recent victory against Dabang Delhi is a prime example of how much growth the team has shown. Once heavily criticized for their poor defense and their inconsistent raiding, Yoddha scored 26 raid points and 10 tackle points on the night to prove a point to their detractors.
Prashanth Kumar Rai was in exceptional form and his successful raids at crucial junctures of the encounter paved the way for his team to put the game to bed.
The two teams have faced each other just once in the league this season, in Match 71, where Gujarat came out on top with a 37-32 win.
Key Battles to keep an eye on
#1 Prashanth Kumar Rai (left raider) vs Parvesh Bhainswal (left cover)
#2 Sachin (right raider) vs Sachin Kumar (left corner)
Probable playing 7
Gujarat Fortunegiants: Sunil Kumar (c), Sachin, K. Prapanjan, Rohit Gulia, Parvesh Bhainswal, Ruturaj Koravi, and Hadi Oshtorak
UP Yoddha: Rishank Devadiga (c), Shrikant Jadhav, Prashanth Kumar Rai, Narender, Jeeva Kumar, Sachin Kumar, and Nitesh Kumar
When and where to watch: 20:00 IST on the Star Sports network and on digital streaming platform Hotstar.