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World Grand Prix semis: Title is Van Gerwen’s to lose in Dublin

| 09.10.2015

Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | October 9, 2015

It’s now the business end of the World Grand Prix, and four darts stars have made it to the semi-finals of the event in Dublin on Friday night.

Defending champion Michael van Gerwen is the standout competitor left and, following upsets galore this tournament, Mark Webster, Robert Thornton and Mensur Suljovic have emerged the Dutchman’s remaining challengers.

Robert Thornton v Mensur Suljovic

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Five - Alexandra Palace

It is fair to say that Austria’s Suljovic is like a fine wine, he is certainly getting better with age. The Serbian-born 43-year-old has just reached his first ever major semi-final after shocking the likes of double winner here James Wade, Simon Whitlock and Vincent van der Voort.

Suljovic came back from the dead pretty much against the latter in the quarters too, to claim nine consecutive legs and finish in style with a 170 checkout to spark jubilant celebrations. The Gentle is 12/1 with Coral to record another maximum in this match too.

While Scotsman Thornton is the odds-on 8/13 for victory, Suljovic (13/10) actually has a better record against him and has won five of their last six meetings.

The Austrian has become known as a giant-killer in recent years, but if he makes the final surely that label should be taken away and replaced with the fact that he is now among the darting elite.

Former UK Open champion The Thorn has not been his best in the last couple of years in the major tournaments but did come through a 3-2 epic against Ian White. But, with Suljovic in such good form, back the Austrian at an enticing 11/2 to triumph 4-2.

Michael van Gerwen v Mark Webster

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Eight - Alexandra Palace

It really is Van Gerwen’s title to lose, with the rest of the top six seeds all out, and he is the only man left in the draw who can preserve the record that there have only been World Grand Prix champions from England or the Netherlands.

Mighty Mike may be the only Netherlands star to have won here, but his two titles mean that he is the heavy 1/3 odds-on favourite to defend the crown.

Van Gerwen goes up against another former world champion in Wales’ Webster, who finally looks back to his best after knocking out Stephen Bunting, Adrian Lewis and an in-form Jelle Klaasen, who at one stage looked as if he won their quarter encounter.

The Spider may have beaten the Dutchman six times before, but he hasn’t done so in their last six meetings and not since 2011 which was arguably his best season since crossing over to the PDC.

Webster (6/1 for victory) should be able to cause Van Gerwen (1/6 odds-on favourite) trouble, but it’s difficult to see him knockout the world number one for only his second PDC major final. Mighty Mike is 21/10 to come though 4-1.

Coral’s top tip: While a number of players have come close to getting a nine-darter this tournament, none have been able to do so yet. Thornton once managed one here last year, so take tasty odds of 12/1 for there to be another on the night.

Premier League Tips
Hertha to beat Hoffenheim
Schalke to beat Dortmund
Dusseldorf to win at Paderborn


Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.