World Matchplay Darts: Time to hop off the Wizard for Wade

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Here at news.Ladbrokes, we’ve been tipping up an Antipodean storm regarding Aussie ‘Wizard’ Simon Whitlock’s progress at darts’ World Matchplay championship in Blackpool.

After steering punters in the direction of a 2.5-leg handicap win for Whitlock over Kevin Painter in the first round of the Winter Gardens event, we stuck by the 45-year-old for his last-16 clash with Raymond van Barneveld, and he duly obliged with an odds-against win.

However, all good things come to an end and one must know when to hold ’em and fold ’em, to channel country music hero Kenny Rodgers.

The next rotund body in the Aussie’s way is 31-year-old arrow ace James ‘The Machine’ Wade, who became the youngest player to win a major PDC title when taking this in 2007.

While it is true Whitlock has the head-to-head edge against Wade, with 18 wins to 14, and has taken the laurels in two recent clashes between the pair, the Aldershot native has won on both occasions he has faced his older opponent in major events.

Each of those victories came in quarter finals, with the last coming in 2013’s World Matchplay renewal, when Wade beat Whitlock by 18 legs to 16.

A punt on a repeat of that outcome can be found in Ladbrokes’ leg betting market under ‘J Wade by any other score’ at 16/1.

Meanwhile, the only player to win this tournament whose name doesn’t end in Taylor over the past eight years is 4/6 to simply advance.

Thursday’s other quarter final features PDC world champion Michael van Gerwen against David Chisnall, who saw off Andy Hamilton in a 13-10 last-16 humdinger.

Be that as it may, the 1/5 about MVG looks a fair price.

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

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