World Championship 3rd round: Van Gerwen and Thornton on show
The first two third round matches of the PDC World Darts Championship take place on Monday night, with title holder Michael van Gerwen facing Terry Jenkins and Benito van de Pas going up against Robert Thornton.
Both fixtures promise to provide entertainment and high quality darts, with the winner of each encounter going on to face each other in the quarter-finals.
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Terry Jenkins (16)
World number one and title second-favourite Van Gerwen (13/5) has reached the previous two finals of this tournament, winning last time out, and is the odds-on 2/9 favourite to beat veteran Jenkins.
However, The Bull (10/3), who demolished Australian challengers John Weber and Laurence Ryder to get to this stage, will be no pushover, having reached the semis here in 2011 and enjoying a great year to date.
This duo have faced each other 18 times, with Mighty Mike just edging the head-to-head record 10-8. Jenkins won the last meeting just under a month ago, though, in the Players Championship Finals last 16, so expect a close encounter here.
Back Dutch giant Van Gerwen, who has dropped just two sets this year in the tournament so far against Joe Cullen and Sascha Stein, at 11/2 for a 4-3 victory.
The two players are expected top bring the best out of each other here, so take tempting odds of 22/1 if you fancy MVG to get a nine-dart finish.
Benito van de Pas v Robert Thornton (9)
Young Dutchman Van De Pas (9/4 to win) had never got past the first round in his three previous attempts at the World Championship. However, Big Ben has already caused two upsets this year beating Paul Nicholson and then world number eight Dave Chisnall, who he had to come from behind twice against.
But Thornton (1/3 odds-on favourite) stands in his way, and the Scot is in rampant form this tournament after whitewashing English opponents Andrew Gilding and Ronnie Baxter, despite the duo recording respectable averages against him.
While Van De Pas is in uncharted territory at this event, The Thorn is actually yet to make it past this stage here at the Ally Pally.
On top of that, the Dutchman has won the duo’s only meeting, which happened this year at the Players Championship, with Van De Pas seeing Thornton off 6-4.
Therefore, Big Ben is a fantastic chance to cause another upset and has enticing odds of 17/2 for a 4-2 victory.