World Grand Prix quarters: Van Gerwen vies with Rasta after shock exits


It’s almost down to the business end of the World Grand Prix, but few would have predicted the first fascinating quarter-final line-up in Dublin, as further darting greats fell by the wayside.

Ireland is proving to be the perfect Oche and atmosphere for darts underdogs, as Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis and Dave Chisnall were three further superstar upsets, following Phil Taylor, James Wade and co by making early exits.

Title holder Michael van Gerwen still stands, however, and faces young-gun Jamie Lewis, while in-form Jelle Klaasen scuffles with perhaps another surprise package in Mark Webster. In the other quarters, Mensur Suljovic meets Vincent van der Voort and Ian White tussles with Robert Thornton.

These clashes have the potential to be classics, so Coral experts preview Thursday night’s four top-draw fixtures…

Michael van Gerwen v Jamie Lewis
Young Welsh whizz Lewis showed remarkable composure against Michael Smith, never letting his head drop despite starting on the back foot, before ferociously fighting back to win 3-2.

Can Wales’ new darting dragon defeat reigning champion MvG? Coral have priced him generously at 7/1 to do so, and 9/2 to match Mighty Mike for most maximums, and in the current climate it may not be so outlandish.

In all honesty, it seems a stretch too far for the starlet, though it was this Emerald Isle Oche which first propelled then-fledgling thrower MvG (1/12) into the upper echelons. Rasta has once downed the Dutch giant before, but that sole victory against this opponent is crucially booked-ended by seven losses.

Van Gerwen looked like he could become another shock scalp last time out, but the deadly dartsman is a born winner and has a habit of coming back stronger, with foe Kim Huybrechts eventually punished 3-1 in a fantastic finish. So, back unstoppable force Mighty Mike at 2/1 to also take the quarters with a repeat 3-1 result.

Mark Webster v Jelle Klaasen
The Cobra (fancied favourite at 4/7) played some sensational darts against Chisnall, enthralling fans in a 3-2 thriller in which he looked deadly and determined from the off.

If still in such formidable form when facing Webster (11/8), who came through his own clash by memorably whitewashing Jackpot, Klaasen’s cool could see him come out tops again, with odds of 10/3 for the tie to go 3-2 in his favour.

Looking hungry for victory, the Cobra held his nerve to also outshine maximums man Chizzy with five in that fixture, so you can back the revived Dutchman at 8/5 to rack-up the most 180s in set 1.

Mensur Suljovic v Vincent van der Voort
Suljovic and his unique throwing style have had the better of veteran Van der voort on five of their six previous meetings, and the Serbia-born star is 4/5 favourite here to continue his sensational journey and reach the semis.

The Gentle was anything but, as he thrashed The Wizard 3-0 last time out with some fantastic finishing, and never looked likely to let the game slip from his grasp. With that kind of ferocious focus, crowd favourite Suljovic should be able to dispatch the Deadly Destroyer (evens), though the Dutchman is in equally impressive form.

This contest between these two first-time quarter-finalists will undoubtedly be close, as Van der Voort similarly blitzed past The Bull in the blink of an eye in his own second-round romp, so 10/3 for Suljovic to just steal the spoils with a 3-2 scoreline is tempting.

Ian White v Robert Thornton
Rampant White’s tremendous toppling of seeded superstar Anderson was a real nail-biter and makes Diamond odds-on at 4/6 to clinch this duel in Dublin, though the Thorn will undoubtedly prove a prickly opponent.

Thornton (6/5) trounced a sub-par Justin Pipe in the second round, but will find a much wilier opponent in Englishman White, who has won his past three on the trot against this last Scot standing. Diamond did not clock-up the most maximums in his incredible match with Anderson, but did hit an excellent eight, so is evens to lead in 180s and pull out all the stops again.

Betting tip: Klaasen @ 10/3 to beat Webster 3-2

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