World Matchplay: Saturday’s preview


Peter Wright to march on

We are whittling down the numbers in Blackpool, as the 2017 World Matchplay arrives at the semi-final stage. There have been plenty of shocks to keep fans interested in the early rounds, but it’s serious now, and we expect the cream to rise to the top.

You can place your bets on all the action right here at Coral. We offer odds on the outright winner, as well as each of the live matches, covering handicap betting, correct score and most 180s. Coral’s sports team look at the chances of an upset on Saturday. Click here to have your say.

Gurney targets another major scalp

The Daryl Gurney story has captured the imagination of fans, with the Northern Irishman battling his way to the latter stages. He now faces Peter Wright, which would cause most a few sleepless nights in the run-up, but with a win over two-time world champion Gary Anderson already under his belt, what has he got to worry about?

The 31-year-old Derry native has no pressure on his shoulders, and has been playing like a man enjoying his darts so far. That victory over The Flying Scotsman shocked everyone, but it was fully deserved, and proved again that we can never take anything for granted in this game. He then won a thrilling contest with Mensur Suljovic in the quarters, sneaking past 16-13.

That’ll do nothing but encourage the underdog to claim another major scalp, and Coral traders have priced him at 2/1 to beat Wright. Punters still sitting on the fence, or those who expect a close match on Saturday, can take Gurney with the benefit of the handicap. +3.5 is sure to attract a share of attention at 10/11.

Wright to book his place in the final

Peter Wright did as expected and beat Darren Webster in the quarters, but the Livingston born star made it a lot more difficult than it had to be. Widely tipped to ease through, he made his trademark fast start at the competition, but missed chances to go 3-0 up, and that caused him to be dragged into a scrap. He somehow found himself behind at the break.

That seemed to refocus Snakebite, and the 47-year-old, usually as consistent as they come, had to roll-up his sleeves and battle to an entertaining 16-12 win. Fans at Winter Gardens loved the drama, but it was all a bit too close for comfort for Wright. He’ll be eager to get back on track with a convincing win on Saturday to set himself up for the final, and that’s just what our traders think will happen.

Punters eager to keep faith with Wright will find him a 2/5 favourite in the betting, which was to be expected. Those after a bit more for their stake money can have a pop at the handicap. Wright giving Gurney a 3.5 head-start and going on to win is 5/6. This tournament has already been draining, both physically and mentally, on players, but if Wright can settle, we expect him to march on.

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