Huybrechts v Wright: Expect maximums aplenty
On one of the more low key sessions at the World Matchplay this year there is a real standout match which sees two men who are upwardly mobile in the world rankings take to the oche in Kim Huybrechts and Peter Wright.
Huybrechts is now firmly in the top 16 whilst Wright is knocking on the door of the top 20 and after recent performances, especially at the UK Open will have been one player the seeds will have wished to avoid in the first round.
Wright’s run to the semi-finals in Bolton was his best ever result in a major and he backed this up with a Players Championship win in Crawley so he is used to winning this year. The Belgian has also been in the winner’s enclosure this year as well with a victory at a UK Open qualifier so both will be confident heading into this one.
Snakebite Wright is yet to beat the Hurricane on the tour though with four losses in four contests between the pair and two of those have come in the last three months despite the Englishman’s form.
It is certainly set to be a lengthy game though as despite Huybrechts consistently having the better of Wright he never has it easy. The game could easily go to 18 legs or further and it will be off the highest quality so expect plenty of maximums. Most bookies have over 9.5 as odds-on but Coral have made it evens and that looks a decent price.
The first match of the afternoon session is between two men really searching for form in Justin Pipe and Mark Webster. Neither are at their best at the moment but it is Pipe who has been closer to his best game and that is why he is the 3/5 favourite with Bwin. Pipe has won the last three between these two and should make it four on the bounce here and looks good with a -2.5 handicap at 11/10 with William Hill.
Then comes a real clash of youth versus experience as debutant Jamie Lewis takes on Kevin Painter. Lewis is involved thanks to his run to the final of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy and will still be on cloud nine having managed that feat which came out of nowhere really. This is a whole different kettle of fish though and the veteran could teach the youngster a lesson on the big stage in Blackpool. He is not one to take pity on an opponent and looks good value at 6/5 with a -3.5 handicap with Betfred.
Finally there is a potentially very tight clash between Brendan Dolan and Steve Beaton with the Irishman the marginal favourite at 9/10 with Boyle Sports. The Adonis has been in pretty good touch though with a semi-final run in Austria and a quarter-final in Gibraltar of late so it is he who looks the better value at 11/10 with Sky Bet, especially when you consider that Dolan has never won a match in this tournament.
Kim Huybrecths v Peter Wright over 9.5 180s @ evens with Coral
Justin Pipe (-2.5) to win @ 11/10 with William Hill
Kevin Painter (-3.5) to win @ 6/5 with Betfred
Steve Beaton to win @ 11/10 with Sky Bet
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