World Matchplay quarters: Mighty Mike & Wright highlight the night
The World Matchplay darts enters the latter stages now, and Coral preview the first half of the quarter-finals draw on Thursday night, which sees world number one Michael van Gerwen take on Ian White and Peter White face Gerwyn Price.
We have already seen some shocks and scintillating shows already at the Winter Gardens this tournament, and Snakebite and Mighty Mike will be looking to continue the party in Blackpool.
Peter Wright v Gerwyn Price
The Price is Wright for Snakebite on Thursday night, as he has a brilliant chance of continuing further in his quest for a first major trophy as he goes up against The Iceman for a place in the semis for the first time here.
However, despite easily dispatching the Welshman at the 2015 World Championships 3-0 in sets in the first round, he will need to be wary of the former professional rugby player, who clearly has great fighting spirit.
Price, 30, has already upset two seeds to get to this stage, Michael Smith and 2013 runner-up Adrian Lewis, and is a tempting 5/2 chance to cause another upset.
Wright (3/10 favourite), though, knows that on his day he can beat the best in the world, and will be hoping to use his own fighting spirit that took him through his battle against Andrew Gilding after a slow start.
Snakebite (9/1 tournament chance) was angry with himself early on, but used that disappointment to spur himself on and even come close to getting a nine-darter on a couple occasions.
The Scotsman is in great form of late, having helped his nation to the World Cup of Darts final and lose out at the same stage at the Japan Masters against all-time great Taylor, and he is a tempting 33/1 shout to get a perfect leg in this match.
While Price has enjoyed a great run this tournament and, at his age, is certainly one for the future, back Wright to tackle the Welshman’s charge. Snakebite is a tempting 10/1 to win 16-9.
Michael van Gerwen v Ian White
The second and final match of the evening sees Van Gerwen (heavy 1/10 odds-on favourite) take on another that has caused perhaps a couple of shocks to reach this stage, White (6/1).
Diamond beat Stephen Bunting and Simon Whitlock to get to his first World Matchplay quarters, but knows he is up against it with darting colossus Mighty Mike in his way.
White has managed to beat the Dutchman, who is 18/1 to get a nine-darter on the night, twice before (in 2012) in their nine meetings, but they both came just before the latter won a major title.
They faced each other in last year’s World Matchplay, with Van Gerwen triumphing 13-4 in the last 16, and he has looked in bullish mood so far this tournament having lost just six legs so far. Back him to concede that many against White too with a 16-6 victory at 11/1.
Mighty Mike will be desperate to add this trophy to his already impressive collection so far at the age of just 26. After reaching the quarters, semis and then final at this competition in that order in the last three years, he is the 11/10 title favourite this year.