World Matchplay 2nd round: Mighty Mike, Wright and Lewis feature
The World Matchplay enters its second round, and we have already witnessed a few shocks in the first half of the draw, so Coral writers preview the last 16 action at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens on Tuesday evening.
Stars such as title favourite Michael van Gerwen (13/8), Peter Wright (14/1), Adrian Lewis (10/1) and Simon Whitlock (50/1) feature on the fourth day of the tournament, where it is now first to 13 legs. Meanwhile, seeded players Justin Pipe, Mervyn King and Michael Smith, as well as rising star Stephen Bunting, are already out.
Peter Wright v Andrew Gilding
Snakebite came through a potentially tricky first round tie against fellow Premier League player Kim Huybrechts with relative ease, beating him 10-5, and is a genuine contender to claim his first major tournament.
Wright is in great form of late, reaching finals of the World Cup of Darts and Japan Masters, and will have been relieved to have won only his second ever match at the World Matchplay, so is odds-on at 1/3 to beat Gilding too.
Goldfinger Gilding edged out fellow East Anglian King 10-8 in his opener, and is a 9/4 shout in this fixture. However, Wright should have too much quality to defeat him, and the Scot is a tempting 10/3 chance to be King of the Oche (to win the match, get the most 180s and highest checkout. If any of the markets are tied, bets will be settled as losers).
Simon Whitlock v Ian White
Another star of the sport that will be in bullish mood is Whitlock, who finally won a major televised match for the first time since reaching the semis here last year, after seeing off former BDO world champion Jelle Klaasen 10-4.
The Wizard (11/10) knows that he faces a tough opponent up next in Stoke’s number three White (8/11 favourite), who is seeded just behind the Aussie in ninth and upset Bunting 10-6.
This duo have faced each other on nine occasions with almost all of them being very close, but Whitlock has won five of those and as Diamond has gone out at this stage the last three years here back the former for a 13-11 victory at 9/1.
Michael van Gerwen v Jamie Lewis
It is surprising to think that Van Gerwen (1/20 heavy odds-on match favourite) is yet to win at the Winter Gardens, but he did reach the final in 2014 and should easily dispatch young Welshman Lewis (9/1).
Mighty Mike and Lewis, nicknamed Rasta due to formerly sporting a dreadlock hairstyle, have met seven times before, with the Dutchman winning six of them including all three this year. Back Van Gerwen at 8/11 to be King of the Oche.
Adrian Lewis v Gerwyn Price
The final match of the night sees 2013 World Matchplay runner-up Lewis (1/6) take on former professional rugby union and league player Price (4/1), who shocked Smith in round one.
They have only ever faced each other at Players Championship matches, with double world champion Lewis winning four out of five. Back Jackpot to beat The Iceman 13-7 at a tempting 7/1.