World Matchplay Darts: Taylor v Van Barneveld rivalry continues

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The second round of the PDC World Matchplay Darts concludes this evening with a quartet of games that should get the mouth watering.

Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld are all in action vying for a place in the quarter-final line-up. Here, we run through this evenings hotly anticipated encounters…

Dave Chisnall v Alan Norris

Not the most exciting encounter perhaps, but one that should be tight if their respective first round games are anything to go by.

Chisnall overcame Mervyn King with an uncharacteristically nervous display, while Norris saw off the fancied Kim Huybrechts with a combination of skill, solid finishing and canny gamesmanship.

Chizzy won’t fall for Norris’s off-putting antics and should have enough experience and quality to come out on top at 1/3.

Adrian Lewis v Rob Cross

Lewis may be a two-time world champion, but underestimate the 26-year-old Cross at your peril.

The former electrician has been on a charge in the Pro Tour since turning professional in January and has won six floor events in the last seven months alone.

He showed in the last round that he has the game to be able to make a challenge on the main stage by defeating Ian White 10-7 on Monday night.

Now Cross will have Lewis in his sights.

We fancy him to put Jackpot to the sword at an enticing 11/8.

Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld

Without doubt the star attraction of the evening.

The 76th El Clasico of Darts takes place under the cloud of it possibly being the last, with this tournament representing Taylor’s last involvement at the Matchplay.

Hopefully it’ll be a belter.

The Power rolled back the years in the first round to comfortably despatch Gerwyn Price, and with only one extra leg to contend with in the second round, the length of the match should not prove a problem for the The Power.

On the other hand, Barney will relish a possible meeting with fellow countryman and rival Michael van Gerwen in the next round.

We like the 50-year-old to repeat his World Championship victory over Taylor at 6/5.

Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock

The last game of the evening sees the Netherlands and Australia do battle as MVG invites Simon Whitlock onto what is fast becoming his stage.

Mighty Mike is unbeaten at the Matchplay since his 2014 final defeat to Phil Taylor – a fact that is reflected in the odds, with the Green Machine priced at 1/20.

Whitlock does have the capacity to cause the Dutchman a few problems in the contest, but it seems unlikely that the world number one will face too much trouble en-route to what would be an eighth straight PDC major quarter-final appearance.

With that in mind, we like Van Gerwen to be King of the Oche this evening (Win Match, Most 180s, Highest Checkout) at Evens.

Click here for the latest World Matchplay odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the University of East Anglia where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper Concrete. He also supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Other passions include darts, cricket, speedway and horse racing.