World Matchplay: Friday’s preview
MVG vs Taylor starts the weekend in style
We have arrived at the quarter-final stage of the World Matchplay Darts, with Friday gifting sports fans a couple of fascinating contests. The schedule is headed by Michael van Gerwen vs Phil Taylor – another chance to see the changing of the guards.
Or is it? We’ve had shocks aplenty in Blackpool so far – will there be one or two more to start the weekend? Click here to have your say on game of the night, or any of our Matchplay markets, including match and outright betting. We give our views on how Friday will go.
Van Gerwen beat Taylor
A meeting of two of the game’s biggest names, the old king vs the new prince. An example where the sport of darts is at the moment can be found in the prices for this one, with MVG nailed down to progress at 1/6, Phil Taylor a chunky 4/1. You can never write the record-breaking world champion off however, as we saw in the last round.
We had Raymond van Barneveld to end The Power’s challenge in midweek, but the 56-year-old proved us wrong, taking full advantage of some slack play from Barney, who missed his chances at the doubles, and was punished. What was billed as a close match before the off, turned in to an 11-3 stroll for Taylor at Winter Gardens, with the winner telling fans it was a lot easier than he expected it to be.
The last thing Friday’s match will be is easy, by anyone’s standards. Coral are offering over 30 markets on the bill topper but, according to the betting, this will be a one-sided van Gerwen win, the real punt being on how competitive Taylor can make it. We can’t play Mighty at 1/6, so will take a chance on the underdog +5.5 on the handicap at 10/11.
Lewis beat Norris
Earlier in the evening and Adrian Lewis aims to keep his hopes alive when matched with Alan Norris. Lewis had a real battle on his hands in the last round, eventually seeing off Rob Cross 11-8. Adrian, who recently underwent a back operation, was less than convincing, but did get the desired result, and is expected to again here.
Norris upset the odds to beat Dave Chisnall, snatching a tie-break to win a thrilling match 14-12. Both will go into this one with confidence, but that was the best of Norris, while Jackpot still has another gear or two to go through. If he’s in the mood, and that win over Cross suggests he is, the 2/5 currently on offer at Coral will do a job. You could back Lewis for the win, but we prefer Norris +3.5 on the handicap at 4/5.