Tenacious Wade can push Taylor
The semi-finals of the World Grand Prix has produced one surprise match-up and one entirely predictable one as Dave Chisnall meets Justin Pipe and Phil Taylor takes on James Wade.
The obvious highlight is the clash between the Power and the Machine for which the world number one Taylor is the hot favourite at a best price of 2/9 with Paddy Power whilst Wade is significantly behind at 4/1 with Ladbrokes.
The Power may have looked a bit off in round two when he beat Paul Nicholson but he was back to his best in battering Gary Anderson 3-0 in the quarter-finals and if he repeats that performance then he is not going to be beaten.
Wade, by comparison, has produced his usual standard of play which does not blow anyone away but does produce victories. All three of his contests have gone to a deciding set and how he scraped past Simon Whitlock in the last round only he knows but winning tight matches is something he has become an expert at.
The averages of the two men so far this tournament would have Taylor thrashing Wade on Saturday night but the world number five will not let that happen and his incredible ability to win legs without seemingly playing well will keep him in the clash. I still expect Taylor to win this but Wade is worth backing on the +2.5 handicap at 6/5 with Betfred.
Few would have been expecting the semi in the bottom half of the draw not featuring MVG, Lewis or Hamilton but that is what has come to pass with Pipe seeing off the Hammer in the last eight and Chizzy winning a thriller against van Gerwen.
Chisnall is now the clear favourite to make the final at a best price of 2/5 with Bwin whilst the Force is a long price of 9/4 with Stan James. When you look at the head-to-head between the two it is easy to see why as in their 10 contests Pipe has won just once.
Pipe has hit some very good form in Dublin though and dropping only one set in clashes with Andy Smith, Adrian Lewis and Andy Hamilton is an amazing achievement. Chisnall is playing even better though as his 10 maximums against MVG showed.
Chizzy should win this one but Pipe is good enough to push him reasonable close and in a race to five this could easily go to eight or even nine sets. Over 7.5 sets is odds-on in some places but EVENS with Coral and that looks a very decent price.
Justin Pipe v Dave Chisnall over 7.5 sets @ EVENS with Coral
• Taylor romps to 11th Grand Prix title
• Chisnall out to do the impossible
• Anderson can at least out score Taylor
• Barney could just topple MVG
• Taylor has too much for in form Asset
• MVG can start title defence in style
• Wade vulnerable to Beaton at Grand Prix
• Taylor looks unstoppable ahead of Grand Prix