European Championship round 2: Taylor, MvG, Anderson all through
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | October 30, 2015
- Second round
- Saturday, October 30th
- Scheduled for 13:00-17:00 and 19:00-23:00 GMT
- Hasselt Ethias-Arena, Belgium
- Live on ITV4
As always, the darting majors never fail to amaze, and the first round of this year’s European Championship in Belgium produced a few thrillers and upsets.
Coral writers preview the next stage, where the remaining 16 stars battle it out for a place in the quarters on finals day…
John Henderson v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Big Bad John meets Little John in this opener, and the former will be hoping to use his experience of being around the blocks for many years, although he has only once reached a major event quarter-final – the 2011 World Grand Prix.
The Scot has a great chance against rising star Rodriguez (evens for victory), and is priced as the slight 4/5 favourite after shocking compatriot and recent Grand Prix champion Robert Thornton.
Stephen Bunting v Dave Chisnall
One of the matches of the round in terms of similar ability and likability, Chizzy is the 8/15 favourite after enjoying a better year than The Bullet (6/4) to date.
However, Bunting, who defeated eighth seed Ian White, boasts a 6-4 head-to-head record over Chisnall, and has won three of the last four. This could go the distance, and The Bullet is 9/1 to triumph 10-8.
Adrian Lewis v Justin Pipe
Jackpot (2/7), champion in 2013, got lucky in his clash with exciting Dutchman Benito van de Pas as he scraped out a 6-5 win, and doesn’t really enjoy facing the slow-styled Pipe (13/5), who saw off Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-2.
Again, this could be an epic, but Lewis should have enough class to come through, despite being 9-8 down against The Force, and is 7/1 to do so 10-7.
Gary Anderson v Simon Whitlock
Whitlock (3/1) loves this tournament, having won in 2012 and coming second the following year. He is up against it in his next duel with defending world and Premier League champion Anderson (1/4), after seeing off Swede Magnus Caris, but knows the Scot is not in the best of form.
This will be their 32nd encounter, but first since last summer. The Wizard won their only first-to-10 10-8 clash back in 2012, and is a tempting 14/1 shout for victory by that scoreline once more.
Peter Wright v Kim Huybrechts
What better than to have a home hope to cheer for in Belgium, and in Huybrechts (6/5) the fans have a man who can potentially go on to win.
His next opponent, fourth seed Wright (4/6), will provide a tough test, but his own crowd should be able to help him through and gain revenge on Snakebite after losing to him at this stage last year.
Phil Taylor v Michael Smith
The Power looked as if he was on the way to losing to Vincent van der Voort again, as he did in the first round at the Grand Prix, but eventually beat him in style 6-1.
Four-time champ Taylor (1/4) hasn’t lifted this title since 2011, but looks in good form after averaging 100.24 against The Dutch Destroyer. It is difficult to see Smith (3/1), who’s reached just one major quarter – last year’s Grand Slam of Darts – inflict a shock on the all-time great.
Michael van Gerwen v Cristo Reyes
Spaniard Reyes (7/1) was one the success stories of last year’s PDC World Championship, getting to the last 16, and did well to knock out star teenager Max Hopp by getting the highest average of the round.
He’ll have to be in even better form when he faces world number one and defending champion Van Gerwen (1/12) , but knows how to beat him having done so at the Players Championship in Barnsley in April.
James Wade v Jelle Klaasen
The Cobra continued Raymond van Barneveld’s decline by edging his Netherlands compatriot 6-4, despite being out-scored.
Klaasen (11/8 for victory), though, now faces The Machine, who has won 19 of their 22 meetings and is the odds-on 4/7 favourite.
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