World Matchplay Darts round 1 Monday session: Taylor takes to the Oche
Two darts superstars feature in the final session of the World Matchplay round one on Monday, as darting giants Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld make their first appearances in the Winter Gardens.
Which other stars and tasty ties are on offer for Coral customers to back?
Robert Thornton v Keegan Brown
Thornton (odds-on at 4/6 to win) and Brown (6/5) have met just three times before, with former UK Open winner The Thorn triumphing in two of those scraps. This tussle should be the tightest of the night, as neither have made it past the last 32 before, though Scottish veteran Thornton’s experience should see him edge it ahead of young-gun The Armageddon.
At just 22, however, 2014 PDC World Youth champion Brown should not be discounted, having taken bigger scalps before in his short career, so punters can enjoy excellent odds of 7/1 for Thornton to just beat the up-and-coming talent 10-8.
Dave Chisnall v Jamie Caven
English pair Chisnall, a recent Premier League Darts semi-finalist, and Caven clash in Blackpool for only the second time on the World Matchplay stage, with Chizzy having downed Jabba 10-13 in their last Winter Gardens encounter.
Caven has defeated Chisnall in seven of their 12 duels across all competitions, so is an 11/4 shout to take the spoils here, though only one of those wins arrived in their past four duels, with the balance of power having certainly shifted.
Chizzy, meanwhile, is a two-time quarter finalist in this competition, and is odds-on favourite at 2/7, though punters can get a better price of 11/8 by backing the St Helens-born darting star to be King of the Oche (player to win match, most 180s and highest checkout. If any of the markets are tied, bets will be settled as losers).
Phil Taylor v John Henderson
The World Matchplay has certainly been Taylor’s tournament of recent times, with 13 of the last 15 titles lifted by The Power, who could claim an incredible 16th Winter Gardens trophy triumph here. It is unlikely Henderson will stand in his way, as The Highlander has never made it past the last 16.
Taylor is also in terrific form of late, after recently winning the World Cup of Darts and Japan Masters, so is heavily odds-on at 1/16 to ease past Henderson, who he dispatched 6-2 in their only previous battle, and is also available at a generous 7/4 to be King of the Oche.
Raymond van Barneveld v Andy Hamilton
Van Barneveld may have suffered some recent wobbles but the Dutch giant is still capable of throwing top quality darts, so Hamilton, who has beaten Barney just three times in 24 meetings is unlikely to cause an upset here.
The Hammer is 10/3 for a shock win, but Barney is overwhelming favourite at 2/9, though recent encounters have been close, so backing the Hague-born cult hero, who came within an inch of lifting this crown as runner-up in 2010, at 11/2 to win 10-6 could be profitable.