The last 16 of the PDC World Darts Championship draws to a close in a mouth-watering session of action inside the Alexandra Palace on Saturday evening, when the final three spots in the quarter final will be filled.
Three of the best in the world will take to the stage in this session while a couple of the better players among the new brigade will be looking to catapult their careers into the serious big time so this session is perfectly made for great darts.
Peter Wright vs Jeffrey de Zwaan
The evening begins with what could turn out to be the pick of the matches as the experienced former finalist, Peter Wright, takes on the new Dutch star in the making in the form of Jeffrey de Zwaan.
These two have met twice in their careers and it is the Dutchman who holds the upper hand with a 2-1 advantage and there is no doubt in my mind that he has been the better player of the two in this tournament. He has to back up arguably the best performance of his life here, and we know that is never easy, but he’s had almost a week since he last played so that should help him somewhat. Wright has been ordinary by his standards in the tournament and it remains to be seen whether he has it in him to find his best form, as he could very well need it here.
I happen to think that de Zwaan will win this match but he’s plenty short enough should Wright find his best form so perhaps the best bet is for over 14.5 180s to come along in the game. Wright has hit 17 180s in his two matches so far while de Zwaan is certainly no mug when it comes to peppering the 60. If this is as tight as the odds suggest and we go all the way we only need an averaging of one 180 each per set with one on top somewhere. They are more than heavy enough to cover that.
Glen Durrant vs Chris Dobey
We have a North-East derby to enjoy in the second match of the night as the popular Glen Durrant looks to continue his quest for a fourth straight world title when he goes up against the man who might be seen as the villain of the piece in Chris Dobey, after he ended the run of Fallon Sherrock here on Friday.
Durrant looked in ominous form when defeating Daryl Gurney on Friday with a near 98 average and holding himself together under strong pressure in a number of deciding legs in sets. Dobey also held himself together well because he put himself under a lot of pressure with missed doubles but always knew his scoring power would see him past Sherrock if at any point he clicked his finishing into gear.
The bet I like in this match is for Dobey to hit more than 7.5 180s. This has all the makings of going all the way so we’re only looking for him to score a 180 per set on average with an extra one on top if it does but he has just hit 11 180s in six sets with everyone against him and hit six in five sets in his opening match. Dobey is a heavy scorer and I think he has at least eight 180s in him here.
Gerwyn Price vs Simon Whitlock
We conclude the night and indeed the last 16 with the second favourite for the tournament in Gerwyn Price taking on the former finalist here in the Australian star Simon Whitlock, who has shown some decent form so far in this event.
Price produced his best ever performance on this stage in the previous round but we know that it is never easy to back up an elite display in the following match, but that is what Price will need to do if he is to make it into the quarter final. Whitlock has actually looked very good in his two matches to date and should Price struggle to keep up his good form, you get the feeling Whitlock will be there to capitalise.
These two are 7-7 for their careers and their recent matches have been pretty close. Given that I don’t think Price will hit the heights of Friday, I think this one will be evenly matched as well. The odds have probably overreacted a little too much to Price’s performance on Friday which leaves us with a tasty price on over 5.5 sets that is hard to ignore.
WON – Back P.Wright vs J.de Zwaan – Over 14.5 180s for a 5/10 stake at 2.10 with William Hill
Back it here:
WON – Back C.Dobey – Over 7.5 180s for a 4/10 stake at 2.20 with Betfred
WON – Back G.Price vs S.Whitlock – Over 5.5 sets for a 4/10 stake at 2.63 with Bet365