Hammer and Barney set for another tight one
If the fourth contest in Sheffield on Thursday night is half as good as the game between the two men earlier in the competition, then we are in for a real treat. Raymond van Barneveld and Andy Hamilton served up a fantastic duel in Nottingham at the start of March which the Dutchman edged but which both men mustered up ton-plus average for.
Since then little has changed for the two men with Barney continuing to challenge at the top of the table and The Hammer very much in mid-table mediocrity although in striking distance of the top four with just a couple of good results.
Both men won last week although their wins could not have come in more differing fashions with Barney romping to a high quality 7-2 victory over Adrian Lewis whilst Hamilton scrapped to a narrow win in a poor contest with Wes Newton.
There is no surprise that Barney is the strong favourite for this one as he has been very consistent throughout this tournament which is why he sits in second place whereas Hamilton has not turned it on nearly as often which sees him lying in sixth. However, The Hammer is rarely on the wrong end of a hammering and has consistently had tight games with Barney in this competition so I expect there to be another one. The Dutchman should win it but the 5/4 on over 11.5 legs with Coral looks a good one, I recommended the same market last time and it came in so we will stick to what we know.
Finally we come to what should be another cracker between James Wade and Michael van Gerwen who both return for their second contests of the night. This is an especially difficult match to predict given that we don’t know their first results as yet but I expect wins for them both first up so we can judge it on that.
Wade has much more experience than MVG in returning to the stage on the same night but it shouldn’t make too much difference given Van Gerwen’s ability to win so many matches on the same day on the Pro Tour. It is no surprise that Mighty Mike is the favourite but Wade is such a tricky opponent as he proved when he beat the Dutchman in Glasgow despite averaging six points less than him over the contest.
If MVG does beat Taylor then his confidence should be so high that he comes out and wins the game but it is not something I would confidently back having not seen the first games. This is really one to back during the night when you can gauge how the players are doing but one bet that could well prove to be good value regardless is the highest checkout market. Wade is second favourite in this at 5/4 with Ladbrokes and given his incredible finishing ratio and penchant for high checkouts this looks a good price.
Andy Hamilton v Raymond van Barneveld over 11.5 legs @ 5/4 with Coral
James Wade to score highest checkout v Michael van Gerwen @ 5/4 Ladbrokes
• Whitlock great value against Wade
• Barney could batter Lewis
• Sorry Lewis set for fourth straight defeat
• Wade the value bet against Barney
• Taylor must beat Hamilton
• Whitlock is back in form
• MVG can hurt Taylor semi-final chances
• In form Newton to keep winning
• Whitlock and MVG value for big finish