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Coral Sydney Masters finals: Taylor tackles Wright, Barney battles Lewis

| 22.08.2015

Sydney has been a superb host for the Coral Masters so far and, after the quarter-final clashes saw big-names Gary Anderson and Michael van Gerwen head for shock early exits, the semi-final stage promises further Oceanic thrills.

Current holder Phil Taylor faces unpredictable Peter Wright in the final four of this PDC World Series of Darts showpiece, keen to add another crown to his recent Perth Masters trophy capture.

Meanwhile, Raymond van Barneveld is back in business after dazzling in his defeat of fellow Dutchman MvG, but must now navigate a path past plucky Englishman Adrian Lewis, who knocked Flying Scotsman Anderson off the Aussie oche.

With all the most exciting action yet to come, Coral writers preview the best bets for the semi-final session…

Phil Taylor v Peter Wright

Unbeaten in 18 matches across all the Masters events in Australia since 2013, Taylor, current Perth champion and two-time winner here, is on the trail of his third successive Sydney victory.

Incredibly only The Power, and now ousted Van Gerwen, have ever lifted titles from the World Series of Darts, and the Stoke-born darting superstar is now odds-on at 5/6 to retain this trophy.

All-time great Taylor is in his element on Australian turf, and illustrated that by again demolishing 2014 finalist Stephen Bunting, this time with an 8-2 thrashing in bullish fashion. Having clocked up an average of 101.67 in that rout, The Power is 1/3 favourite to punish Wright, who he has beaten a resounding 14 times to four.

Snakebite faced a tougher quarters clash in James Wade, but put his Perth pummelling by The Machine firmly behind him with an 8-6 win.

The quirky Scot came a cropper against Taylor last in the Japan Masters finale, despite an impressive comeback, and is now 9/4 to right that result and secure safe passage past The Power. Wright undoubtedly has the ability to shock, but consistency of throw and inability to capitalise could cost him against this opposition, so back a close call at 10-8 (15/2) in favour of Taylor.

Serial winner The Power knows what it takes to win and has barely broken a sweat in Sydney so far, so place an 11/4 stake for the experienced arrowsmith 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).

Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld

Van Barneveld, long overdue a big scalp, delighted his Barney Army by surprisingly sweeping compatriot Van Gerwen aside 8-4 to reach this stage.

The Dutch supremo will need a storming start again, having stunned Mighty Mike with fine finishing in the first few legs, and is evens to be first to put a maximum on the board in this battle.

Despite his excellent record against Lewis, with 27 wins to 15, Barney is just 11/10 second favourite for this tie. With his mojo now back, however, the Hague-born cult hero is a 9/1 punt for a 10-7 triumph.

Alternatively, Jackpot is 8/11 match favourite, though the Englishman has not entirely convinced in recent competitions, and scraped through to this session with just a one leg margin win in both the previous two rounds. A nine-dart finish in this duel can be backed at a tempting 20/1.

Betting tip: Back Barney’s proven quality @ 9/1 to beat Jackpot 10-7



Holly Thackeray

Holly is a member of the content team, and can often be found on the sports desk writing about favourite topics Serie A and East Asian footballing nations. A recent darts convert, she is also a fully-fledged member of Barney's Army and a proud Leeds-born Manchester United fan.