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PDC World Darts Championship – Semi Finals Preview
After a fortnight of entertainment only four remain in the 2014 Ladbrokes World Darts Championships. With favourite Phil Taylor eliminated back in round 2, each man will be confident that this is his year and it should be a cracking night of entertainment.
Simon Whitlock v Peter Wright
In the night’s first clash it’s Australia v Scotland as world number 4 Simon Whitlock takes on Scottish hero Peter Wright for a place in the final.
Both men have dodged potential bullets in reaching this stage. Whitlock avoided a possible quarter-final with the much favoured Kim Huybrechts whilst Michael Smith’s second-round giant killing of Phil Taylor meant Wright managed to escape a battle with the world number 1.
Nevertheless, both men are here on merit and will believe that this is their best ever chance of claiming the sport’s most sought after crown.
Peter Wright, ranked 16th in the world, has played some of the best darts in his career and constantly hovering around the 100 mark when it comes to a three-dart average.
Whitlock’s average isn’t quite as high but is still in the 90s. However, he has always done enough to see of his opponents and you feel that he has another gear in the tank should it be required in tonight’s contest.
It should be a cracking semi.
Betting Tips Whitlock V Wright
Despite being 12 places apart in the rankings, this is priced at a very close 8/11 – 11/10. Whitlock is therefore the slight favourite but the bookies feel that if Wright performs then he could cause an upset.
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Whitlock is a strong favourite (4/9 Bet 365) to record the most 180s and this is a barometer that perhaps the Aussie has more in the tank. At this stage of a world championship we would expect him to play at his peak.
A race to six sets is a long haul battle and over such a long distance quality should prevail. Therefore our tip is Whitlock -1.5 sets at 6/5 with Paddy Power.
Michael Van Gerwin V Adrian Lewis
This is the one people have been looking forward to since the draw was made and, with The Power out, many will believe that the winner of this one will go on to lift the title.
Third seed Lewis is the only man still in the competition who has already lifted the trophy, having done so in 2011 and 2012 before falling to MvG in last year’s quarter-final. The two-time champion will see this as his chance for redemption and victory tonight could see the 28-year-old on course for a third title in four years.
Lewis has eased through to this stage, never dropping more than a single set in any match. Last night he comfortably saw off the challenge of James Wade by beating The Machine 5-1. Despite missing numerous doubles, the world number 3 was able to record a three-dart average of 96 and should be confident tonight.
He will be aware that missed doubles tonight will be punished though.
Mighty Mike has been very solid throughout this tournament. In the early rounds he breezed through but when faced with the much harder task of Gary Anderson he managed to record a three-dart average of just over 100. In the quarter-final, he succumbed to a mid-match lull but still eventually ran out as a relatively comfortable 5-3 winner.
The world number 2 had a dip in form a few months back but rediscovered form ahead of this tournament and will be convinced that this is his time to add his name to the trophy. He was a losing finalist twelve months ago and could go one better here.
These are two of the most exciting players in the world, and also two of the fastest. Fans will be hoping that they will push each other to the limit, and if they do we could be in for an explosive encounter.
Betting Tips Van Gerwin v Lewis:
The match is priced at 8/11 MvG and 11/10 Lewis, which shows just how close it could be. Either man could win this and we wouldn’t advise backing the winner.
What we can expect is explosive darts with the treble 20 being absolutely annihilated by these two fantastic players. The lines have accordingly been set high but we think both men are capable of hitting double figures when it comes to maximums.
Lewis over 14.5 180s is 10/11 , whilst MvG is 4/5 to hit over 12.5. (both Bet365)
We also like the highest checkout line. It is set at a very high 143.5 but we expect at least a few three-dart checkouts tonight. William Hill are offering 5/6 on over 143.5.