Barney could just topple MVG
The match of the second round, and potentially of the tournament takes place on Thursday night as the Netherlands’ World Cup team Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld square-off for a place in the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix.
These two met in the final of the Grand Slam of Darts last year producing one of the matches of 2012 and many will be expecting something similar in Dublin as MVG continues the defence of his Grand Prix title.
The reigning champion is the strong favourite after producing a near-perfect display to beat John Part in the first round although Barney did not look too bad either as he cantered to a 2-0 victory over Stuart Kellett. Mighty Mike goes into this one as the 2/5 favourite with Sporting Bet and his older compatriot out at 9/4 with Ladbrokes.
It will certainly be tighter than those odds suggest though and an in form and confident Barney has every chance of pulling off an upset. The five-time world champ is worth backing at EVENS with a +1.5 handicap with Boyle Sports.
The first match of the night sees a serious clash of styles as Adrian Lewis faces Justin Pipe for a place in the last eight. Jackpot had to be at his brilliant best to snatch a victory away from Brendan Dolan in round one and with that victory to add to his Players Championship win on Saturday he is going to be brimming with confidence.
Pipe’s win over Andy Smith on Tuesday was a pretty low quality affair and he is going to have to seriously step up his game if he wants to live with a full-flowing Lewis. The Force does have a good record against the former world champ though having won more than he has lost against Jackpot. Pipe can certainly push Lewis and although he will almost certainly lose, the match could easily contain over 16.5 legs which is EVENS with Sky Bet.
Then comes Wayne Jones against Dave Chisnall, two men who are in very good form at the moment. Chisnall is clear favourite to win but he is famously unpredictable and an on-song Wanderer is certainly a threat. This is not the headline act of the day but could be a surprise hit and feature a lot of quality. Both are great on the maximums when playing well and over 6.5 180s is 21/20 with Boyle Sports when it is odds-on everywhere else which looks a good bet.
Finally there is a tasty looking clash between Andy Hamilton and Kevin Painter for a place in the last eight. The Hammer has made the quarter-finals of major tournaments his home in the last couple of years and he is favourite to get there again in Dublin. Hamilton has won the last four contests between the two and he will make it five on Thursday night, he is worth backing at 11/10 with Ladbrokes with a -1.5 handicap.
Raymond van Barneveld (+1.5) to win @ EVENS with Boyle Sports
Justin Pipe v Adrian Lewis over 16.5 legs @ EVENS with Sky Bet
Wayne Jones v Dave Chisnall over 6.5 180s @ 21/20 with Boyle Sports
Andy Hamilton (-1.5) @ 11/10 with Ladbrokes
• Taylor romps to 11th Grand Prix title
• Chisnall out to do the impossible
• Tenacious Wade can push Taylor
• Anderson can at least out score Taylor
• Taylor has too much for in form Asset
• MVG can start title defence in style
• Wade vulnerable to Beaton at Grand Prix
• Taylor looks unstoppable ahead of Grand Prix