The third round of the PDC World Darts Championship concludes in a special session on Friday evening and the last 16 gets underway as we begin to power towards the end of the tournament inside the Alexandra Palace in London.
Three of the very best in the world headline the card in the second session on Friday and they are challenged by three extremely competent players in their own right so we have everything needed for a great session of darts.
Gerwyn Price vs John Henderson
It all kicks off with the last of the third round matches which sees the Welsh star Gerwyn Price looking to improve his indifferent record in this tournament when he goes up against John Henderson, a player who always seems to take it to the big guns these days.
The win in the previous round was only the second year he has come here and won a match in this tournament but to his credit he wasn’t too bad in defeating William O’Connor although he got a huge stroke of luck when the Irishman miscounted. Henderson was far too strong for James Richardson in the second round of the tournament and will be fancying his chances here, knowing that his opponent might have a few mental demons on this stage.
The bookmakers seem to think this will be pretty one-sided in Price’s favour but I’m not so sure that will be the case. Henderson can give as good as he gets both in the scoring department and the finishing one. Price resembled a man who knows he has a terrible record in this event in the previous round and while he might win, and it is by no means a guarantee, I don’t see him winning comfortably so over 5.5 sets looks good to me. With that in mind, over 11.5 180s also looks good. If there are six sets, which I think there will be, then it is one 180 per set from both on average. Both score better than that so I like the over in the sets and 180s.
Gary Anderson vs Nathan Aspinall
The first of the last 16 matches of the tournament sees the twice former winner Gary Anderson taking on a man who burst onto the scene on this stage last year and who has gone on to win two TV tournaments in 2019 in Nathan Aspinall.
You would have to think this one has all the tools to be a cracking contest. Both men outlasted their opponents in 4-3 wins in the previous round and look to be offering up somewhere close to their better form. If both are at their very best then Anderson will win this match as he is the better player, but if there is one thing we’ve seen from Aspinall over the last 12 months, it is that he fears nobody and when he gets into a groove he is a match for most. I have to say the bookies have the odds right here and none of the side markets stand out so I’ll just watch this one rather than watch it.
Michael van Gerwen vs Stephen Bunting
The reigning title holder meets a former world champion to round off what should be a great day on Friday night when Michael van Gerwen takes on Stephen Bunting for a place in the quarter final of the competition, where either Darius Labanauskas or Steve Beaton will await the winner.
As you would expect, van Gerwen is a pretty warm order for this match. He has won 14 of the last 15 meetings between the pair and not many of them have been close but I sense Bunting is on the upturn at the minute, whereas MVG has looked indifferent in the second half of 2019 and although he beat Ricky Evans 4-0 in the previous round, three of the four sets went 3-2 and could have gone the other way.
I’m not going to suggest Bunting will win this match but he might not be wiped out to the extent that people think and if he pins his doubles he is more than capable of taking a set or two which makes me think that the 5.5 180 line for Bunting is far too low. He isn’t someone who switches unless he really has to and he is scoring well. He hit 10 in five sets in his first round and five more in four one-sided sets against Clayton. If he wins a set here he should breeze past this line but he’s more than a chance even in four tight sets.
Back G.Price vs J.Henderson – Over 5.5 sets for a 4/10 stake at 2.30 with William Hill
Back it here:
WON – Back G.Price vs J.Henderson – Over 11.5 180s for a 4/10 stake at 2.00 with Coral
Back S.Bunting – Over 5.5 180s for a 5/10 stake at 2.10 with BetVictor