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PKL 2018: U Mumba clash with Puneri Paltan in the Maharashtra derby

Pro Kabaddi Season 6 will see the first Maharashtra derby action on the opening day as U Mumba will take on Puneri Paltan in Chennai.

Head-to-head: Puneri Paltan 4 – 7 U Mumba

The Maharashtra Derby will be the other headlining event of Day 1 with both teams getting a change in leadership. Girish Maruti Ernak has proven to be an invaluable defender but he will want to prove himself as the leader early to get rid of any nerves he might have as a new captain. Fazel Atrachali has been the Gujarat Fortunegiants captain in the second half of Season 5 but a return to U Mumba will bring a lot of expectations and he will be under a bit of pressure to deliver on that front.

Puneri Paltan has retained most of their core unit in the form of Sandeep Narwal, Rajesh Mondal and Girish Maruti Ernak. They have also shown confidence in youngsters Monu, Rinku Narwal, who will be hoping to impress in defence, and Akshay Jadhav, a Do-or-Die specialist raider who will want to become more than just that in this season. Nitin Tomar coming into the side will be a huge boost for their confidence and Deepak Kumar Dahiya will give a nice balance to the raiding unit.

U Mumba has a stacked defensive line up with Fazel Atrachali and Dharmaraj Cheralathan in the Corners and young Surinder Singh manning the Cover position along with the seasoned Rohit Rana. Their raiding unit has reliable raiders like Abolfazl Maghsodlou, Darshan Kadian, R. Sriram and Rohit Baliyan who will be waiting for a chance to prove themselves and grab the chance to be a team’s primary raider.

Clash of the Defenders

Fazel Atrachali vs Girish Maruti Ernak

In a battle where two strong defences will clash, the two captain, Fazel Atrachali and Girish Maruti Ernak will be in the spotlight, both as players and leaders. Atrachali has ample experience over Ernak but the youngster outdid Atrachali by a big margin in terms of Tackle Points in Season 5.

Key Players

Dharmaraj Cheralathan – U Mumba

Dharmaraj Cheralathan will be playing against his former team Puneri Paltan for the first time this season. With Fazel Atrachali securing one Corner, Cheralathan will want to ensure no easy points are taken in the opposite Corner either.

Sandeep Narwal – Puneri Paltan

An all-rounder par excellence, Sandeep Narwal was Season 5’s second most successful all-rounder and his deadly holds will be a vital component of the Puneri Paltan defence in all of Season 6.

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