Darts double: Taylor to sweat, while Whitlock can wave off Wade
Given that it features eight of the top 10 seeds, the quarter-final line-up at the World Matchplay in Blackpool is quite rightly being hailed as a meeting of the cream of the darts crop.
The event at the Winter Gardens has predictably been dominated by Phil Taylor over the years, with The Power surging to 13 of the 19 titles on offer ever since the tournament’s inception in 1994.
Stoke-on-Trent’s finest is in the last eight again this time around in the competition’s 20th year, but having been made to sweat by Terry Jenkins in his 14-12 second round win, Taylor might find that he doesn’t have things all his own way in his quarter-final meeting with ninth seed Justin Pipe on Thursday evening.
Taylor holds a 6-2 career record against Pipe, which is one of the closer match-ups he’s experienced against any of his opponents.
Five of the last six meetings between The Force and The Power have been settled by two legs or less, with Pipe winning two of them, and so the 8/11 on offer for Pipe to win the first to 16-leg showdown with a +7.5 leg advantage could certainly tempt.
The second of the night’s quarter-finals features James Wade, the 2007 champion who remains the last man to lift this trophy other than Taylor, against 2010 semi-finalist Simon Whitlock.
Despite winning 10 of the last 13 meetings between the pair, it is Whitlock who finds himself at odds-against going into the contest with Wade.
That is almost certainly down to the fact that The Machine has reached the last two finals here, but if The Wizard – at 5/4 – can prolong his spell over Wade then an Australian presence in the last four awaits.
A £10 double on the two selections mentioned above returns £38.86.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication