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2016 World Matchplay semis: Anderson in Taylor’s path to final, Van Gerwen to thwart Lewis

Holly Thackeray | July 23, 2016

2016 World Matchplay

  • Semi-finals
  • Saturday, July 23rd
  • Session from: 19:15 BST
  • Winter Gardens, Blackpool
  • Live on Sky Sports 2

Final four set for scintillating Saturday night semis

There were few shocks as the line-up for the 2016 World Matchplay semi-finals took shape, with all four tournament top seeds Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis set to contest two coveted places in the grand finale.

Reigning champion MvG had breezed past Dave Chisnall with ease on Thursday, to set up a semis date with Jackpot, who rallied back to beat Peter Wright in a real nail-biter.

While, Friday saw 15-time Winter Gardens winner The Power seal his spot after a close shave with Mervyn King and world champion Gary Anderson join him after ousting cult hero Steve Beaton in another tighter than expected tussle, of which you can view the highlight moment below.

Sometimes in sport it is superb viewing to see an underdog make it to the business end but, at other times, there is nothing more tantalising than getting ready to watch four tungsten titans square-up up for real heavyweight wrangles.

So, hold onto your beer steins as Coral writers preview Saturday’s semi-final oche action. Let the battle for Blackpool commence…

Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis

Darts - Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championships - Day Fifteen - Alexandra Palace
If Lewis’ luck is not to run out here, after he squeezed past Snakebite, the English arrowsmith cannot afford the same kind of slip-ups that allowed the Scot to come within two legs of success.

Jackpot (4/1 with Coral for the match) did show cool to come back in that encounter but a revived Van Gerwen, who toyed ruthlessly with Chizzy in his own quarters clash, will not be so obliging and is 1/6 to sweep into the final.

It’s not all doom and gloom for Lewis, who has endured a bit of a mixed bag in battles with Mighty Mike of late. There have been some bright spots – a solo triumph to help England defeat the Netherlands in the World Cup of Darts, but also plenty of dark clouds after losing all but two of their last nine rumbles.

Mighty Mike typically gets of to barnstorming starts in these crunch fixtures, so makes sense to back at 7/5 for a maximum in the first leg, with odds of 8/1 for the deadly Dutch dartsman to dispatch a 170 checkout.

Van Gerwen was certainly confident ahead of the match:

Now 4/6 favourite to retain his World Matchplay title, MvG is also 7/4 to claim the highest player checkout of the semis.

So, it will really take something special from Jackpot to stun the world number one. The Potter has managed to oust Van Gerwen at this stage of the competition before, but that was before he quite hit his current heights in 2013.

There was a two leg difference back then on the night, and this time you can snatch odds of 14/1 for the same 17-15 result but this time in Mighty Mike’s favour instead.

Gary Anderson v Phil Taylor

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Fourteen - Alexandra Palace
After both Anderson (3/1 to be King of the Oche in this encounter) and Taylor toiled at times in the quarter-finals, but found extra reserves of quality when it counted, this should be a truly intriguing tie.

The Flying Scotsman could prove a real value punt also at 3/1 for a maiden World Matchplay title, as he knows now how to consistently sink prospective final foe Van Gerwen.

But, there is a semi-final against the all-time great of the game first, which is no trifling matter as The Power still holds a flattering head-to-head record of 36 victories to Anderson’s 14, and defeated him twice in the Premier League this term.

There is a reason the Scottish star is odds-on at 8/11 to prevail, however, as he overcame his recent Taylor troubles by beating his English opponent in the semis of the Dubai Masters in what was their last meeting.

While, The Power has denied Anderson a final appearance in this tournament before and is 11/10 to do the same again in the Empress Ballroom.

“I missed a few doubles and that’s going to have to stop. It’s nitty gritty time now,” Taylor said after eventually vanquishing King in the quarters on his 100th Matchplay appearance, and the Winter Gardens specialist is 4/1 to steal back his crown.

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Coral’s top tip: Nip in now and get that 3/1 price for Anderson to win the World Matchplay while you still can!

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