The final day of action prior to Christmas begins with an afternoon session at the PDC World Darts Championship on Saturday when three more spots in the quarter final of the marquee event will be snapped up at Alexandra Palace.
We have some big players on show on Saturday afternoon including three of the top 10 in the world rankings heading into the tournament so the quality looks to be guaranteed, especially with 180 hitters everywhere we look.
Scott Williams vs Damon Heta
The opening match of the afternoon is an Ashes battle as the unseeded Scott Williams goes up against a Damon Heta who will be looking to move into the top eight in the world rankings over the remainder of the tournament.
Both these men are playing in the last 16 for the first time in their career and will be looking to set up a crack at Michael van Gerwen to open up another year. Williams has looked very good in this tournament and has survived a real battle with Martin Schindler to make it this far. Heta has had to come through a couple of battles as well so it would be no surprise if this one ends up in a deciding leg, especially as both are pretty solid scorers and generally decent enough on the doubles. I’m already on Heta at 7/2 to win this one having taken him to reach the quarter final but I think we could be in for an absolute belter to get proceedings underway here and with two lovely throwing styles I’m expecting 180s galore here. Both men went into double figures for 180s in their last match and the way they are all over the 60 I don’t think a 14.5 180 line will prove high enough. Were this to go to a decider we need one 180 per set each and one on top but I think the ratio will be higher than that now that both men are into the tournament. I’ll play the over.
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Daryl Gurney vs Dave Chisnall
Two seasoned campaigners take to the stage in the second match of the afternoon when Daryl Gurney looks to make it into the quarter final at the expense of a Dave Chisnall who should be getting to the latter stages of big majors having dominated the European Tour this year.
These two are no stranger to each other in big TV events and generally when they meet their matches are close and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if that trend continues here but Chisnall has just looked a little off his game so far in the event. He has still come through both his matches comfortably but just 10 180s in nine sets of darts isn’t really a ratio we would equate to Chisnall and he is yet to average above 95 and loose change. Gurney certainly hasn’t looked below his best. He has hit 15 180s in 10 sets of darts and generally looked in good order with his throw, especially on the doubles where he has been pinning the big ones regularly. I think Gurney is a chance here but he is probably priced up about right and Chisnall has a good enough record in this event that he could find his best stuff and win this. This is one to enjoy rather than bet on.
Rob Cross vs Jonny Clayton
We save the best for last on Saturday afternoon in terms of the world ranking as the former champion Rob Cross goes up against a man who was a regular in the latter stages of TV events a couple of years ago in Jonny Clayton.
Cross has played well in this tournament but keeps on talking about having more gears to find and if he finds them here you would imagine he’ll be well placed to win the match but Clayton has been operating at elite level for a couple of years now and although he hasn’t played anywhere near as well as Cross, it might only take someone playing well against him to bring out his best darts and if we get those then ‘The Ferret’ could be a match for anyone. From a neutral point of view I hope we get the best of both men and if we do we could get a cracking contest but more importantly for me I’m looking for a Clayton win as he is my one remaining outright bet. I’ll leave this alone and hope the Welshman comes through here.
Back S.Williams vs D.Heta – Over 14.5 180s for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with Betfair