The semi-final line up for the PDC World Darts Championship will be confirmed on Sunday evening when the last two quarter finals of the tournament take place inside the Alexandra Palace in London on what is a big night for the four men involved.
In a rare sequence of events we get to see both current reigning world champions in the one session on Sunday as well as two men who will be doing all they can to take their title charge into at least another night.
Michael van Gerwen vs Darius Labanauskas
The first quarter final of the evening looks like the biggest mismatch in terms of the four in this round when the defending champion Michael van Gerwen takes on a Darius Labanauskas for whom the chance to play at this stage of the tournament would have been a pipe dream at the outset.
It goes without saying that MVG is the warmest of warm orders here and we are probably talking biggest shock in the history of the sport territory if Labanauskas comes out on top here. He just doesn’t score well enough to give MVG problems and unless the Dutchman has an absolute mare on his doubles the current champion will progress. If he pins his doubles to any sort of acceptable level then his move into the semi-finals will be a pretty swift one.
The problem Labanauskas has is he is actually checking out better than van Gerwen throughout the tournament but his average is five points less for the event so far. That tells me MVG will outscore the Lithuanian and that is played out in the 180s. Since the second round Labanauskas is averaging less than one 180 per two sets whereas MVG is going at around 1.5 180s a set. That’s a huge differential and one which can lead MVG to hitting four more maximums than his opponent here over this distance. If this ends 5-0 then using 180 averages for the tournament MVG will hit 7.5 to the 2.3 of Labanauskas. I’m with MVG there.
Glen Durrant vs Gerwyn Price
The pick of the quarter finals of the tournament is saved for the last one where the reigning BDO world champion Glen Durrant will take on the second favourite for the event in Gerwyn Price in what promises to be an absolute pearler of a contest.
Durrant has looked very good in this tournament and it has been the real pressurised moments that he has been at his very best and that bodes well for him. That is the sign of a champion and why he is three wins away from a fourth successive world title. Price had that amazing performance against Henderson in the third round but he has looked ordinary in his matches either side of that. Whether that is the pressure of being the second favourite only he will know but there is no coming through this if he is not at his best.
I happen to think we’ll see the best darts of both men here and the winner will be the one who plays those huge fifth legs the best. I’m already on Durrant at 8/1 for this match having taken him for the quarter before a dart was thrown and I’m in no rush to desert him now. I do think we’re in for a close, high quality contest here though so over 7.5 sets is my way into this last quarter final.
Back M.van Gerwen (-3.5) Most 180s vs D.Labanauskas for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with 888sport
Back G.Durrant vs G.Price – Over 7.5 sets for a 4/10 stake at 2.10 with Sky Bet