9-dart man James Wade backed to out check-out Phil Taylor

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We are down to the last eight in the World Grand Prix darts, and you will be unsurprised to hear that a certain Phil Taylor is among the final octet.

However, the 11-time champion in the tournament has been far from convincing in recent weeks, and is by no means banker material anymore.

We take a look at two of the last-eight contests this evening, and pick you out our best bet for each match.

Phil Taylor (2/7) v James Wade (11/4)

Warming up for this competition with a 6-0 defeat against Darren Webster wouldn’t have been The Power’s planned preparation for his title defence.

And although he has passed through both rounds with some daylight between himself and his respective opponents it has not been the Phil Taylor of old at the oche.

His first round encounter against Steve Beaton was a scrappy affair, with Taylor’s scoring rarely igniting the crowd, just a solitary 180 to his name.

He dropped the first set against Andrew Gilding next up and did show tenacity to come back for a 3-1 victory, but quite frankly a 36% checkout success, with a highest finish of 71 isn’t good enough to be winning tournaments.

Wade, conversely comes into this contest off the back of a magical last-16 match against Robert Thornton in which both players hit nine-darters.

‘The Machine’s’ scoring has been a real asset on the Emerald Isle this week, registering two 180s, and checking out three-figure totals four times in his pair of matches.

And compared to Taylor’s one 100+ checkout, there can only be one bet for us in this match.

Best Bet: Highest Checkout – James Wade @ 5/4

Gary Anderson (1/4) v K Painter (3/1)

While James Wade’s last-16 match was a feast for darts fans, Kevin Painter’s win over Adrian Lewis was a show of sheer determination.

The Artist was down and nearly out, with Jackpot holding a 2-0 lead. But the fight the world number 20 showed to come back and claim a famous victory was admirable.

Seventh in the rankings Gary Anderson is next up, and this will be just as tough for the man from Daventry.

Anderson has triumphed in three of the last four head-to-heads with Painter, and you would probably have to give ‘The Flying Scotsman’ the edge here, though he does not tempt at the odds.

Instead it could pay to focus on how close those victories have been.

Just two sets have separated the pair in those last four matches (all games were best of 11), so they appear quite closely matched.

Therefore it could pay to take in some handicap action, covering a narrow Anderson victory, as well as a Painter win.

Best Bet: Kevin Painter +1.5 sets @11/10

It is set to be another bumper night of darts in the Irish capital, and what better way to enjoy the arrows than to make a few quid at the same time!

For those with plenty of faith in our selections will be rewarded for your belief with very nice odds of over 7/2.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publish

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.