World MatchPlay Darts
One of the best tournaments of the year hits our screens at the weekend….The World MatchPlay commences Saturday at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool and probably the best championship venue on the calendar.
The atmosphere is unique, the noise levels are incredible, and you’ll go a long way in any sport to find a venue that rivals this one.
I’m sure Phil Taylor will agree also – the 14-time champion is bidding for his seventh successive win here having triumphed last year with a 111+ three-dart average over Adrian Lewis in the final.
Can the legend reign again, or will we crown a new winner in just over a week’s time?
It’s easy to pick the favourites, and most of them will undoubtedly win, but every year there are a few shock results so hopefully we can get on the right side of a few of them.
Ronnie Baxter to beat Wes Newton
Wes is struggling of late whilst Ronnie has been playing some decent stuff. I think this is a game that will got the way of the outsider, and at around 2.7 Baxter has to be supported.
Terry Jenkins to beat Ian White
For those who follow just the TV tournaments it’s probably hard to imagine that Jenkins is the outsider here, especially as he has such an impressive record at the Winter Gardens.
But Terry hasn’t been in great form over the last few years whereas White has been catching the eye. However, The Bull comes alive at Blackpool, it’s a stage where he has played in some fantastic matches and will have high hopes of doing so again.
He reached the final in the last major he played in, the UK Open in March, so he’ll be confident of going a long way here.
Ian is yet to play his very best darts on the big stage so at just over even money I have to side with Jenkins at 2.7
The top half is stacked with potential finalists such as Michael van Gerwen – available to back at 3.0 or an enhanced 5.0 for new customers, – James Wade, 15.0 , Raymond van Barneveld, 13.0 , Simon Whitlock, 29.0 , and Dave Chisnall, 29.0.
I think MVG will make it through, the World Champion is a formidable opponent over such a long format.
The bottom half is a punter’s minefield however, so go easy. Taylor 4.0 is unbeaten at Blackpool since 2007, and the draw on paper has been kind to the 14-time champ but we take James Wade at 15.0 who is always a huge threat and looks good value.
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