Taylor v Lewis: Power unbeatable in Matchplay finals
Whatever happens in the final on Sunday evening this year’s World Matchplay has without doubt been one of the greatest editions of the tournament in its 20 year history and in fact one of the most exciting competitions of any in recent memory.
The final should not let us down either as Phil Taylor takes on Adrian Lewis for the first time in a Blackpool showpiece and it is set to be a real treat.
The Power has been irresistible all week in the Winter Gardens with his worst performance so far being his 102.64 average in his second round win over Terry Jenkins, whilst he peaked in the semi-finals against James Wade with a 107.6. He produced similar form at this year’s UK Open as he never dropped below three figures and duly went on to lift the trophy in Bolton.
Lewis may not have managed the same kind of figures throughout the tournament but his battling qualities have been questioned and he has answered them very convincingly as he dug in to squeeze past Andy Hamilton in the last eight and Michael van Gerwen in the semis. His win over MVG was one of the greatest matches we will ever see and as good a performance we are likely to witness as Jackpot managed an unbelievable 16 maximums on route to a 17-15 victory over the world number two.
Both have been pushed to the limit already but they are each facing their toughest challenges now they are into the last two. However the bookies only really see one winner coming from this one and that is Phil Taylor. He is 2/5 to win this one with Betfred whilst Lewis is all the way out at 23/10 with Sporting Bet and there are a number of reasons why this is hard to argue with, not just the Power’s incredible form this week.
The world number one has been in 13 World Matchplay finals and won every single one of them, including the last five editions of the tournament, whilst Jackpot has never reached this stage of the competition. The pair may have never met in a Blackpool final but they have contested eight other finals over the years and the Power has won every single one of them as well. Taylor also holds a record of 38 wins to Lewis’ nine in their head-to-head so there really is plenty suggesting a win for the world champion.
In Lewis’ defence he is completely confident in his own abilities and playing extremely well. At his best he is capable of beating anyone on the planet so it would be foolish to rule him out but it would also take a brave punter to back him.
It is very hard to see Taylor not winning this one given his record in the final of this event. In 2008 Wade played brilliantly against him averaging 102.5 but still went down 18-9; in 2010 Barney managed a three figure average but still lost 18-12. Basically when Taylor plays at his best in the final players do not tend to get anywhere near him and this is what will probably happen again tonight. The Power with a -4.5 handicap is just in our favour at 11/10 with Sky Bet and this looks just about right to me.
• Taylor powers to 14th Matchplay title
• 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
• Lewis v Huybrechts: Rebel no walkover for Jackpot
• 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