Klaasen the notable fifth round value
After yet another cracking session of darts on Saturday afternoon we are set for a stunning last 16 this evening with a lot of the favourites looking at the top of their game and a few dark horses emerging.
The three men with the lowest odds for the title will be reasonably happy with their draws for the fifth round as Phil Taylor must face Brendan Dolan, James Wade takes on “Big” John Henderson and Michael van Gerwen plays Terry Jenkins.
The latter of those three matches looks the one most likely to cause an upset despite MVG being the hot favourite for the title. He has cruised through to this stage without having to play anywhere near his best but the Bull has looked pretty good and will push him much harder than Mervyn King or Michael Mansell managed to. However, Mighty Mike has so much talent in the locker that it would take a monumental effort from Jenks to trouble him. MVG, Taylor and Wade should not really have any problems in reaching the last eight.
Raymond van Barneveld is next in line in terms of odds and he has a much tougher evening on his hands against the reigning champion Robert Thornton which is the first game on the main stage in the evening session. Both have played pretty solidly so far and in terms of form there is not a lot between them with Barney having performed better in the Premier League but the Thorn having had a better year on the floor in 2013 so far.
Thornton has never beaten the Dutchman before but he looks a good price at 7/4 with Boyle Sports to break that duck on Saturday evening in Bolton. He is certainly the value bet and will push Barney all the way even if he can’t get over the line.
The final match on the main stage is a potential highlight of the session between Adrian Lewis and Kevin Painter. Both had to play brilliantly t beat Wes Newton and Gary Anderson respectively and will each be full of confidence after their impressive wins. Somewhat surprisingly the pair have a completely even head-to-head record so the Artist will not have any fear heading into the contest with Jackpot.
Painter looks a decent price again at 7/4 with Bet365 and is certainly capable of taking the match past 14.5 legs which is at 10/11 with Sky Bet.
Given the form that Peter Wright has shown thus far this tournament it is no surprise that he is a strong odds-on favourite to beat Steve West who is inexperienced at the business end of PDC events. Wright is well worth backing on the (-3.5) handicap which is at 5/4 with Sky Bet given that he’s just beaten Stephen Bunting 9-2, a much better player than West.
Andy Hamilton is worth a similar bet against Terry Temple who is a very solid player but doesn’t find himself at this stage very often. The Hammer (-3.5) is 11/10 again with Sky Bet and that looks a decent price.
The only remaining match to mention is Ronnie Baxter against Jelle Klaasen which could well be one of the tightest of the evening. Baxter is a wily old campaigner and is capable of beating the best on his day but the Dutchman looks to be coming back to his best and has put in some very good performances of late. The Matador has a very good record against the Rocket and at evens with Bet Victor he looks a great punt.
• Taylor proves his superiority at UK Open
• Hamilton could just cut the Power
• Barney and Taylor set for UK Open final
• Maximum markets provide quarter-final value
• Newton and Part great value in fourth round
• Chisnall and Painter with main stage potential
• Burnett and Hankey to build on momentum
• More shocks on the cards in UK Open third round
• UK Open opening night: Wade has his work cut out
• Van Gerwen looks unstoppable ahead of UK Open