Adrian Lewis is not fazed by the prospect of facing Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes Darts World Championship on Saturday evening.
Considered to be a prodigious talent, Van Gerwen is currently third-favourite at 3/1 to win the tournament outright behind Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld. Lewis is next in the betting at 8s.
Defending champion Lewis, though, is not ready to relinquish his crown without a fight and his win record at Ally Pally is nothing short of phenomenal.
Lewis has been victorious in his last 15 appearances in the competition having won back-to-back world titles.
Taylor was the last player to defeat Lewis at the iconic north London venue on New Year’s Day in the quarter-final stages in 2010.
Nearly three years to the day since that loss, Lewis is determined to avoid another last-eight exit and is 11/8 to beat Dutchman Van Gerwen.
A bullish Lewis said: “It’s going to be a tough game against Michael, but has he won a world title?
“I’ve done it the last two years, and if he doesn’t turn up, then I win.
“I think he’s been the best player in the world for the past six months. However, he knows this is my stage and that it’s going to be a hard game. I’ve gone 15 games unbeaten on that stage.”
Van Gerwen goes into the game nursing injuries to both feet after he fractured a toe and suffered an Achilles problem.
Not that the double injury woe has thwarted Van Gerwen so far as he eased to a 4-1 win over Colin Lloyd on Thursday.
Lewis added: “He’s had a better year than I have, but this is the World Championship, and if I’m to keep hold of my title, I’m going to have to perform, and it’s going to take a good one to beat him.
“Michael’s injuries might affect him walking up to the oche, but he hit a good average against Colin Lloyd and it won’t affect him too much.
“I’ll have sympathy for his injury when I win the £200,000 first prize!”
Van Gerwen is the marginal favourite to win the match at 4/7. There’s a chance this match could be close, but Mighty Mike’s foot problem could be exacerbated if it goes the distance. However, Simon Whitlock experienced a similar issue last year and reached the semis.
Lewis said: “If I win this world title, I’ll be the first to win three in a row after winning his first.
“It’s a massive target for me and hopefully I can do it. If I don’t do it, then it’s fair enough.”
Please Note: All Odds and Markets are correct at the time of publishing