World Matchplay First Round 21st Jul

World Matchplay

Darts
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Published: 20/07/2014

Monday night gets underway with a cracking match as Peter Wright takes on Stephen Bunting in a battle between two men who made the World Final in 2014. Wright made the PDC final where he lost to van Gerwen while Bunting was the winner of the BDO World Championship. Bunting or the Bullet as he is known made the decision to transfer across to the PDC after that success. He has been excellent since making the last 32 of the UK Open, winning a qualifing event and reaching the final of a Players event. Snakebite is the 4/6 favourite while Bunting can be backed at 6/5. I think Wright will likely come out on top in this match though this could be a close one to call so it might make sense to take the overs in the total legs market. bet365 are 8/11 that this game goes over 16.5 legs and this looks the way to play this.

The second battle of the evening (20:00) sees Mervyn King take on Kim Huybrechts with the Belgian the 4/7 favourite for victory. Huybrechts has won four of the seven meetings between the pair including two of the last three. King will hope to keep up the form that saw him reach the semi-finals of the UK Open and he is 11/8 to come on top. The Belgian is having a solid if unspectacular year with highlights being a quarter-final in the recent Gibraltar Darts Trophy and a couple of semi-finals in Players events. With these two sitting 14th and 15th in the PDC Order of Merit this could be a close battle and again over on the total legs market looks the way to play this once more.

Next on stage is the battle between Adrian Lewis and Andrew Gilding with Lewis the 1/7 favourite. This marks the first meeting between the pair as Gliding has made only a limited number of appearances in major events. The man nicknamed Goldfinger has had a great year on the tour reaching the last 32 in the UK Open and then made a players final before going down to an in-form Gary Anderson 6-5. Gliding is no mug then and will give Lewis a difficult game. It is hard to know what Jackport will turn up he has won the UK Open in 2014 though his Premier League form was questionable. Lewis is sometimes a slow starter and Gliding might be worth an interest at 9/2 to be ahead after four legs and at the same price after six.

The evening and the first round concludes with a battle between Gary Anderson and Jamie Caven. Anderson is my strongest fancy for the tournament and the Scot should do well here in his opener against a player he has played 16 times before and beat on 11 occasions. The Flying Scotsman is playing some excellent stuff at the moment and has won five events on the Tour this year as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Premier League darts season. His opponent Caven is no mug having reached the last 16 here last year and showed form by reacing a Players event semi-finals recently. That being said I think Anderson is playing so well he will come through and I back him in the double result market with the Scot leading after six legs and at the end of the match at odds of 5/4.

RECOMMENDATION: Over 16.5 legs Wright and Bunting, 8/11, bet365
Over 16.5 legs King and Huybrechts, 8/11, bet365
Gilding to be ahead after four legs, 9/2, bet365
Gilding to be ahead after six legs, 9/2, BET365
Anderson ahead after six and at the end, 5/4 (bet365)

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