It’s getting down to the business end of the World Matchplay Darts 2015 and with two very tasty-looking semi-finals in the offing, sparks as well as tungsten are bound to fly at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens – but who get through?
The first match on the bill sees 15-time winner Phil Taylor, looking for an incredible eighth successive title, up against the last man other than the Stoke legend to win this competition, James Wade.
Taylor is now unbeaten in 38 games on the Winter Gardens stage since 2007 and having proved too strong for Dave Chisnall in his quarter-final, winning out 16-8, Power is 2/9 to defeat The Machine next.
Although Wade looks a tantalising underdog at odds of 10/3 having played extremely well up to this point, Taylor’s long history of dominance over the Aldershot ace (45-5-8) and supremacy at the Matchplay make him hard to back against.
However, judging by their latest match-up at this stage of the PDPA Players Championship in May, which finished 6-5 to Taylor, backing Wade with a +5.5 leg handicap at 4/5 looks a belter.
It’s in the second contest of the evening where news.ladbrokes is sticking its neck on the line and calling a surprise upset though, as Michael van Gerwen takes on Peter Wright.
However, despite the Scot only defeating the Dutchman twice in 11 contests, the last of those victories did arrive last time they squared up in June at the Japan Masters – where Wright took a thrilling encounter 6-5..
MVG’s overall three-dart average and checkout percentages are still the best in this tournament, but the Dutchman was given a really tough examination by 13th seed Ian White in his last-eight match.
The UK Open champion won out 16-13 in the end, while Wright cruised into the last four by defeating Adrian Lewis’ conqueror Gerwyn Price 16-7 at a canter.
Still looking for his first major title, Wright has matched MVG for 180s to this point (20) and posted a higher checkout of 161 compared to 156.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.