Lewis v Huybrechts: Rebel no walkover for Jackpot
The first round of the World Matchplay comes to a close on Monday evening with four matches including the newly crowned European Champion Adrian Lewis on display in Blackpool.
The two time world champion was in stunning form in Germany and deservedly lifted the title, now, ironically, he must face the other star of that tournament Ronny Huybrechts.
The Belgian secured the shock of the competition when he knocked out Phil Taylor and his run to the semi-finals was by far and away his best performance in the PDC to date. He will have garnered an awful lot of confidence from those performances, but unfortunately for him, so will Lewis from his.
The consensus is that Jackpot and now he is broken his duck of championships away from the Ally Pally he could mount a serious challenge at the Winter Gardens and he is third favourite to lift the trophy. The bookmakers also see him as clear favourite for his opening contest with the best price being the 1/5 that Boyle Sports are offering whilst Huybrechts is out at 9/2.
Given the Rebel’s downing of the Power in Germany it would be foolish to write him off and he will certainly take a few legs off Lewis even with him playing well. Over 15.5 legs is odds-on pretty much across the board but Sky Bet have made it evens and that looks a good price whilst we show some faith in Ronny.
The rest of the contests on Monday night begin with Robert Thornton taking on Ian White and the Thorn should not have a problem with the Englishman. White has not been in the form he showed last year and will struggle with the heavy scoring Scot. Thornton with a -3.5 handicap looks good at 11/10 with Ladbrokes.
Then comes what could be an absolute cracker between Wes Newton and Jamie Caven as long as the latter has put memories of the European Championship out of his head. Caven was in sparkling form in Germany and looked set for a semi-final before he lost seven legs on the spin to be pipped by Simon Whitlock. If he can return to the form of the first half of that tournament then he looks a great price at 11/10 with Boyle Sports to beat the Warrior.
Finally Andy Hamilton takes on Ronnie Baxter and in any other venue on the planet you would have no hesitation in backing the Hammer, but this is Baxter’s turf and the Rocket performs well on home soil. His semi-final appearance last year was his first in a major for three years and he has been to the final here before so he always ups his game at this time of the year. Much like Brendan Dolan at the Grand Prix, Baxter is worth backing at the Matchplay, especially at a price of 2/1 with Bet Victor.
• Taylor powers to 14th Matchplay title
• Taylor v Lewis: Power unbeatable in Matchplay finals
• Van Gerwen v Lewis: Classic semi-final in prospect
• Taylor v Wade: Machine can out-180 the Power
• Van Gerwen v Chisnall: Mighty Mike makes maximums
• Lewis v Hamilton: Jackpot building up nicely
• Taylor v Pipe: Force to push the Power
• Wade v Whitlock: Wizard can Wade into semis
• Chisnall v Caven: On song Jabba to chop down Chizzy
• Wade v Anderson: In form duo could produce epic
• Van Gerwen v Lloyd: MVG a maximum machine
• Huybrechts v Wright: Expect maximums aplenty
• Whitlock v Klaasen: Matador can oust the Aussie
• Taylor hopes to prove he is still king of Blackpool
• Averages and nine-darter markets look profitable
• World Matchplay: Round One Betting