The New Year started with a bang thanks to some cracking action in the quarter-final stages of the 2015 PDC World Championships and the next two nights should offer even more entertainment as we enter the business end.
Just four men remain in the hunt for that £250,000 winners’ cheque. Quite strangely, this is an exact repeat of the Premier League semi-finals back in May. If the climax to this tournament is anywhere as near as enthralling as that, darts fans are in for a right treat.
Michael van Gerwin V Gary Anderson
The first semi-final sees defending champ Mighty Mike take on the Flying Scotsman Gary Anderson for a place in tomorrow’s final.
MVG beat tonight’s opponent en route to the final last year, as well as claiming victory in the Premier League semi-final clash. However, it is worth noting that the Dutchman was pushed all the way on both occasions so the underdog will be quietly confident about causing an upset.
If Anderson can stand toe-to-toe with the champion during the opening exchanges, we could be in for a real classic.
Michael van Gerwin V Gary Anderson Betting
Mighty Mike will enjoy periods of sheer brilliance and in those moments he is simply unplayable. However, he is equally vulnerable to a poor spell and this is where Anderson must take advantage if he is going to have a chance. We think he will, but it still might not be enough to knock the champion out.
What we do know from the previous meetings, though, is that it will be close. If this match does last the distance, we’d expect to see plenty of 180s from both stars.
The line is set quiet high at 25.5, but both men hit double figures in the quarter-final and the added length of this contest should ensure they surpass this total here.
Over 25.5 maximums @ 4/5 with Paddy Power
Phil Taylor V Raymond van Barneveld
Tonight’s second semi-final sees the resumption of one of the greatest rivalries this sport has ever known and fans will be salivating at the prospect of Taylor v Barney.
Assuming MVG wins his match, it also sets up a cracking final as we’d either have a repeat of the 2014 final; or an all-Dutch repeat of last year’s Premier League final. Either way, Sunday’s showpiece event is set to be a classic.
As for this semi-final, though, we can expect to see fireworks as two of the sports’ most successful players do battle once more. Taylor will still be hurt form that 8-5 Premier League defeat, but the sets format could suit the 14-time winner better. On the other hand, Barney was brilliant against Stephen Bunting and will be confident about underlining a perfect 12 months by lifting the PDC’s biggest prize for the second time in his career.
Phil Taylor V Raymond van Barneveld Betting
The Power rightly enters this showdown as the odds-on favourite but we don’t think it’s a certainty by any means and are anticipating a big performance from RVB.
We wouldn’t want to get too heavily involved in this contest and would be more than content to sit back and watch it simply for entertainment purposes. However, the one soli looking selection we do see is on the ‘most 180s’ market.
The Dutchman hit more than double (13 v 6) 180s than Taylor in the quarter-final stage. Neither men are the biggest maximum scorers but we think Barney will win this battle, even if he doesn’t win the overall war.
Most 180s: Raymond van Barneveld @8/13 with Ladbrokes