Nicholson and Dolan to take qualification to the wire
It’s the final round of group games on Wednesday evening and with only one dead rubber out of the eight contests there will be an awful lot of tension bounding about the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton.
That singular dead rubber is surprisingly Gary Anderson facing Adrian Lewis with the Scotsman guaranteed a place in the knockout phase and the world champ on his way back to Stoke as soon as the game is over. From a betting perspective these matches are a bit of a minefield even though clearly one man is in form and the other is drastically out of it. One thing these two will usually guarantee is maximums though and with the pressure off both of them though there could be a feast of 180s for us all to savour so evens on over 4.5 maximums with Paddy Power looks a good offer.
The key match in Group E though is the winner-takes-all contest between John Part and Tony O’Shea and this is as tight a call as there has been in the competition so far. Both men are dogged and determined and will see this as a first class opportunity to reach the next round and guarantee themselves at least £7,500 for their troubles in the Black Country. On performances so far it is hard to not back the Silverback but Part just refuses to die and this will go to at least eight legs so 4/5 with sky Bet looks pretty safe.
Andy Hamilton is the man in the box seat in Group F although technically he hasn’t qualified just yet, but anything but a heavy defeat against Paul Nicholson on Wednesday will see him through. He has been ruthlessly efficient without being spectacular thus far, but two wins and a leg difference of +7 is very impressive. The Asset recovered from the disappointment of losing to Brendan Dolan with a whitewash of Barrie Bates and he has a sensational record against the Hammer having won five of their six previous meetings. Hamilton will be pretty sure he’s done enough and may just have eased off subconsciously and Nicholson may well capitalise and pick up a win, although probably a narrow one, the Asset is 11/10 to win with BetFred.
This leaves Brendan Dolan facing Barrie Bates, and unfortunately for the Welshman, we know what’s going to happen there. Dolan will be desperate to win by a heavy margin as well as leg difference could prove to be a massive issue in this group. It could well be that three men are all on four points and just one or two legs could separate all three of them. William Hill are offering 6/5 on Dolan to win by 4 legs or more, that looks nailed on really.
Group G is going to go to the wire as well with two very tight matches scheduled for Wednesday evening. Terry Jenkins will have to show his famous fighting spirit to beat an in form Wes Newton and despite all the battling qualities the Bull has, they might not be enough to overpower the Warrior. Wesley Harms will need to refocus after his disappointing performance against Newton, but he looks the kind of competitor that will do just that. Wins for Harms over Martin Phillips and Newton over Jenkins would see those two victors progress and that looks the most likely outcome, the double on these two results is at 2.92 with sporting bet.
Finally, in Group H, battling spirit is going to have to be on show again, but this time from Raymond van Barneveld, whose game face does not really fill you with confidence in this situation. He should still have enough to get past Wayne Jones though, and any win at all will see him through to the knockout stages given Mark Walsh’s poor leg difference. Special Brew is very capable of pulling off an upset against Christian Kist but it won’t be enough and the two Dutchman will progress. The pair from the Netherlands are 2.49 to win with Ladbrokes.
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis over 4.5 maximums @ evens with Paddy Power
Paul Nicholson to win @ 11/10 with BetFred
Brendan Dolan (-3.5) to win @ 6/5 with William Hill
• Dutchmen dominate Grand Slam
• Barney the next to fall to Mighty Mike
• Dutch to make short work of Englishmen
• Kist to topple Barney again
• Anderson to face Hammer blow
• Van Gerwen could seize Power
• Expect big scores as the Count meets Mighty Mike
• Harms good value on current form
• Must win matches for Saturday's losers
• A little bit of history repeating
• Artist and Webby offer Grand Slam value
• Plenty of value on offer at the Grand Slam