Darts World Matchplay Preview

World Matchplay

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Published: 18/07/2014

The 21st World Matchplay Darts gets underway Saturday from Winter Gardens in Blackpool. The event is widely considered to be the second biggest on the PDC calendar and all the big names are out on force as they look to stop Phil Taylor making it seven wins in a row.

BET365 make Michael van Gerwen the 13/8 favourite for the tournament and the number one seed is the deserved market leader. The Dutchman has had an excellent 2014 winning the PDC World Championship, reaching the final of the Darts Premier League and securing the World Cup for the Netherlands alongside van Barneveld. He is just 4/9 to win his quarter and it is hard to see him coming unstuck. Steve Beaton, Terry Jenkins, Ian White are not names that should worry the Dutchman nor should a meeting with Andy Hamilton or Dave Chisnall in the last eight. Mighty Mike will be the man to beat and I could not put anyone off him.

The second quarter looks to be a tense three way battle between Raymond van Barneveld, Simon Whitlock and James Wade. It is Barney who is the 2/1 favourite to win the quarter and 12/1 fifth favourite with bet365 to claim the trophy. The Dutchman turned back the clock to win the Premier League title this year and will be a popular victor here. The problem is he faces an opener with fellow countrymen Vincent van der Voort before a potential last 16 tie with Simon Whitlock. The Wizard looked back to his best when reaching the final of the European Open last weekend. The winner of that epic second round match will face a tricky last eight match with either James Wade or Brendan Dolan. Wade recently won the Gibraltar Darts Trophy a huge psychological boost for the Machine who confessed that before that he was unsure if he was capable of winning any trophy. Dolan meanwhile is a big game player who reached the quarter finals of the UK Open this year and has made the final of the World Grand Prix previously (2011). This is before we even get into the likes of Andy Smith, Richie Burnett and Kevin Painter all capable players on their day. The second quarter looks a fascinating one to watch though from a betting point of view one I will skip.

The third quarter features Phil Taylor who is a 14 time time winner of this event. Taylor has won this event for the last six years and is 3/1 to make it number seven. The Power though was a second round casualty in the World Championship and the third in the UK Open and looks vulenerable to an early shock to Michael Smith in the last 16. Smith beat Taylor in the Worlds and will be a good price if these two meet again. I like Smith to win that game and 9/1 to win the third quarter. Robert Thornton, Wes Newton, Ronnie Baxter and Paul Nicholson are the other names in the section all of whom Smith can beat. I take the 24-year-old to really showcase his huge talent and announce to the World his arrival as a top player.

The fourth and final quarter is headed by Adrian Lewis who is 5/2 to win his section. Lewis has gone off the boil since winning the UK Open and looks vulnerable here. I think it was worth splitting stakes across Peter Wright and Gary Anderson in quarter four. Wright won the European Open at the weekend and is 5/1 to land this quarter while Anderson made the semi-finals of the Premier League and won a Players event recently.

Of the potential quarter winners I think the value lies with Wright and Anderson both of whom should be able to see off Smith or Taylor in the last four. An all Dutch clash in the last four between Barney and van Gerwen would be fascinating though very difficult to predict.

RECOMMENDATION: Gary Anderson, EW, 11/1 (bet365)
Peter Wright, EW, 25/1 (bet365)
Michael Smith to win the third quarter, 9/1 (bet365)
Gary Anderson to win the fourth quarter, 3/1 (bet365)
Peter Wright to win the fourth quarter, 5/1 (BET365)

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