After a host of thrilling matches, two breaks for national holidays, plenty of jugs of beer and what seems like an endless rendition of the “stand up if you love the darts” chant, the 2015 PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace has reached its final hurdle.
Gary Anderson has reached his first final since 2011 and will face Phil “The Power” Taylor, who is featuring in his 18th as a member of the PDC.
The pair have been quite familiar with each other over the course of 2014, meeting six times, and it has been Anderson who has had the upper hand, winning three of those matches, with one draw. But will the Scotsman overcome the darting-phenomenon that is Taylor when it really matters?
Here’s our three best bets for the match:
Coming in to the tournament the Flying Scotsman was the form horse, having enjoyed near total domination on tour.
Question marks still hung over the Players Championship victor’s ability to hit doubles under pressure, especially the kind likely to be heaped on him at a tournament as relentless as the World Championships.
In his easing aside of defending champion Michael van Gerwen in the semi-final though, Anderson answered those questions emphatically, hitting 22 of the 44 doubles he aimed at and making tops his personal property.
Taylor, on the other hand, has shown wobbles in both his previous two matches and can’t afford another against an heavy-scoring, clean-finishing Anderson.
High-scoring is the modus operandi for both of these men, meaning they are rarely faced with the opportunity to take out a high finish.
Until his last-four battle with Raymond van Barneveld, Taylor hadn’t even checked out a score of over 100, while Anderson’s best finish so far has been just 126.
The line for tonight’s high checkout seems to be set very high on that basis.
Twice during the match with Barney, Taylor was denied a first World Championship 9-darter with his eighth dart.
In his post-match interview the Stoke-on-Trent native claimed he was confident the perfect leg of darts wouldn’t elude him in the final and even claimed there could be a couple.
With Anderson a 180-fiend as well, Taylor could well be right.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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