2017 PDC Worlds day 9 preview: Gary Anderson grapples with Goldfinger as second round starts
2017 PDC World Championship
- Second round, day nine
- Friday, December 23rd
- First session starts: 13:00 GMT
- Second session starts: 20:00
- Alexandra Palace, London
- Live on Sky Sports Darts (3)
Second round Friday fixtures include Anderson, Lewis and Smith
The curtain is raised for the second round of the 2017 PDC World Championship on Friday over two sessions, to give darts fans a taster of the top class action still to come after after a brief Christmas break.
Before all that, the early present of double darts on Friday features some real festive thrillers, as reigning PDC world champ Gary Anderson continues his quest to reclaim the Sid Waddell trophy for the third time in succession.
Standing in The Flying Scotsman’s way is Andrew ‘Goldfinger’ Gilding, will he live up to his Bond villainous nickname by providing a shock?
Elsewhere, other fan favourites are also in oche action, as Ian White collides with Jonny Clayton, Michael Smith stars in a finely balanced battle against Mervyn King, young-gun Benito van de Pas is pitted against old pro Terry Jenkins and Adrian Lewis resumes his challenge versus Joe Cullen.
So, read Coral darts writers’ thoughts and tips for Friday frays with our Worlds day 9 preview…
Ian White v Jonny Clayton
Welsh wonder Clayton (7/4 to shock with victory) is a bit of a wildcard, having overcome more prominent countryman Gerwyn Price 3-1 to reach the second round in his maiden World Championship, after only joining the PDC Pro Tour in 2015.
Former BDO man The Ferret boasts a potential element of surprise then, but Diamond (4/9 favourite) is far more polished when it comes to these big events, having made the quarter-finals at Ally Pally previously.
There is value in well-versed White, who whitewashed opening opponent Kevin Simm without breaking a sweat, at 2/1 to be King of the Oche, or at 11/10 for this match to be settled in under 5.5 sets.
Michael Smith v Mervyn King
This darting duel between two fellow seeded Englishmen may be more finely balanced than the outright odds for Smith (1/2 favourite) and King (13/8) suggest, particularly with Bully Boy’s present form.
Smith, still pegged as a big star for the future, made it past fast thrower Ricky Evans by the skin of his teeth and in no small part thanks to his foe’s wayward finishing at the business end.
The Merseysider was on the ropes for a while, so The King will fancy his chances of conquering the younger man, and already holds a dominant head-to-head record of six wins to three against Bully Boy. Both arrowsmiths opened their accounts with 3-2 victories and there has been just a one set difference in three of their past five bouts, so odds of 6/1 for a 4-3 win in King’s favour appeal.
Benito van de Pas v Terry Jenkins
In another tale of young pretender v old master, Big Ben and The Bull round off the afternoon session with a scuffle that sees the pair only just split in the price department, with Van de Pas 4/6 favourite to Jenkins’ 6/5 shot.
On his day, inconsistent but talented Dutchman Van de Pas’ exuberance can outdo older Jenkins, and has done three out of five times previously.
There are odds of 8/15 for this to go all the way and there be over 5.5 sets, but The Bull is reportedly set to retire with this tournament to be his last big hurrah, and that could give the English arrowsmith a real motivational edge.
Simon Whitlock v Darren Webster
The Wizard has a record to be proud of versus Webster, with 11 career wins, one draw and just three losses against the Englishman.
That makes Whitlock an obvious 4/9 to take out Demolition Man (7/4) en route to the third round, where he could face Michael van Gerwen.
The Aussie favourite was electric in his opener with Dragutin Horvat, securing a whitewash by dropping just one leg and firing 170 and 158 checkouts along the way. So, The Wizard of Oz is worth snapping up in a match special to win, hit seven plus 180s and get a checkout of 123 plus at 4/1 (max stake £20).
Gary Anderson v Andrew Gilding
Anderson is inked in to open the evening session and is heavily odds-on at 1/16 to continue his flawless record against Goldfinger, who came back to beat John Henderson in the first round after forcing a sudden-death decider.
Gilding is highly unlikely to get the chance to take out The Flying Scotsman, however, having lost all of his three games against the defending world champion before.
Goldfinger did push Anderson into tense 6-5 triumphs in all of those past meetings but, after ruthlessly dispatching Mark Frost 3-0 in his opener, the superstar Scot is most appealing at 6/5 for a second successive whitewash.
Adrian Lewis v Joe Cullen
Last year’s losing finalist Lewis is 1/3 favourite to see off Cullen, though The Rockstar (12/5) could pose the two-time world champion plenty of problems.
The 27-year-old chucker from Bradford averaged over 100 as he overcame top tungsten prospect Corey Cadby 3-1 last time out, and Jackpot has lost to the Yorkshire starlet before.
Still, since that one defeat, Potter Lewis has seen off this thorn in his side nine times in a row since, though often only by a fine margin. Jackpot will hold no fear for the younger man then, and backing a close 4-3 victory for the fifth seed and former champ at 9/2 could prove profitable.