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Coral Sydney Masters: Barney and Van Gerwen grapple again

After a scorching opening session for Coral’s 2015 Sydney Darts Masters, all the favourites made it through to set up some thrilling quarter-finals, which pitch all of the PDC’s top eight against each other.

The headline tussle will once again be between Dutch darting greats Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen, with Barney surely seeking revenge after Mighty Mike dumped him out at this stage previously in Perth.

Plenty of other top ties await, however, so here is the full list of fixtures…

Phil Taylor v Stephen Bunting Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Thirteen - Alexandra Palace

Bunting (10/3 to win) bounced back from his Perth Masters shock with an emphatic response, as he dispatched fellow Englishman David Platt 6-1 with a superb 60 per cent doubles success.

Unfortunately for the back-on-form Bullet, he now faces current champion and recent Perth protagonist Taylor, the 2/9 favourite for this duel, and seems unlikely to commit a giant killing.

The Power, 6/4 for most maximums, met Bunting in the 2014 final of this tournament, with the younger man on the end of an 11-3 thrashing. So, take odds of 11/2 for Taylor to take this match 8-3
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Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis

In a re-match of the Perth quarter-finals, which Anderson edged 8-7, this showdown should be special. The Flying Scotsman, who whitewashed Aussie opening opponent Warren Parry, is still odds-on 8/15 favourite, despite a few recent wobbles (by his excellent standards).

Lewis, meanwhile, did show steel to come back against homegrown hero Simon Whitlock, though it was the Wizard who faltered to allow Jackpot a narrow 6-5 victory. As the underdog here, he won’t be able to afford to start so slowly against the Scot. Back another close call at 8-6 (at 6/1) in Anderson’s favour.

Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld
Darts - Grand Slam of Darts - Wolverhampton Civic Hall
The pupil has quite clearly surpassed the master here, with 20 wins to 13, so Mighty Mike (2/9 to triumph) will be expecting a repeat performance from Perth, where he sank Barney 8-4 at this exact stage.

Van Barneveld led impressively for a while in their previous duel, but eventually let his lead slip, so is really an outside shout at 10/3 to win this one. However, improved performances mean this battle between two excellent players, so different in style, could be closer, with an 8-6 Mighty Mike victory at 13/2 worth a punt.

James Wade v Peter Wright

Two players who have come so close to capturing major PDC honours this year but fallen at final hurdles, nearly men Wade and Wright, now meet again.

Snakebite, always a colourful character, seemed to be shaken after being incredibly dismantled 8-2 in Perth, after what was an exceptional performance from the Machine.

Though passionate Wright, who was run close by Laurence Ryder for the first few legs of this opening round in Sydney, is 6/5 to avenge his defeat.

“It was nerve-racking after how I played in Perth. I’m relieved to get through,” Snakebite told press following his first win.

So, of the two it is Wade (4/6) who appears cooler and more composed. Customers can, however, take a fantastic 4/1 price for the duo to score the same amount of maximums.

Betting tip: Van Gerwen @ 13/2 to beat Barney 8-6 as the Dutchmen jostle again