It’s round two of the World Matchplay darts and while some big names have fallen at only the second hurdle, danger doesn’t seem to be lurking in the last 16 for the man chasing the holy grail of calendar tournament wins.
Gary Anderson’s mission to add the £450k Winter Gardens prize money to his World Championship and Premier League titles in 2015 got off to a clinical, if not flamboyant start and more of the same is expected against another Pro Tour opponent.
Although he wasn’t at his high-scoring best against Steve Beaton in his opener, the Flying Scotsman punished the former BDO world champion with precision finishing to claim a 10-4 victory.
Anderson’s 1/10 odds to defeat surprise first-round victor Mensur Suljovic simply do not appeal, but backing the overwhelming favourite with a handicap in Blackpool does.
In this best-of-25-leg contest the Scotsman looks very fine value to dispatch the Austrian anchored with a 5.5 leg handicap at 4/5.
With top seed Michael van Gerwen setting the tone in the top half of the draw with a thumping 13-2 victory over Jamie Lewis, Anderson will want to respond with something of a marker himself, especially on his Phil Taylor-bound semi-final collision course.
Getting the job done in under 20.5 total legs at 8/11 also looks pretty as a picture for punters and given Suljovic averaged under the 90 mark during his victory over Terry Jenkins, it’s entirely plausible he’ll be steamrollered.
As Suljovic pointed out having made it into the round of 16 on only his second appearance in Blackpool, just being in the draw still is a huge achievement.
“I’m very proud to win this game,” said Suljovic. “Terry is a superb player but he wasn’t at his best in this game and I played really well.
“I’m standing in the stars at the moment – to get through to the second round is a bonus really but I will do my best again.”
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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