The Rocket could soar against the Artist
If the first day of second round matches is anything to go by, we are set for another stunning day of tight matches on Saturday with another two cracking sessions of darts.
The afternoon trio of bouts kicks off with a real classic contest with a couple of the most hardened road warriors on the circuit, Kevin Painter and Ronnie Baxter who will both be desperate to make it into the last 16.
These two have a long and storied world championship history, first meeting all the way back in the 1995 BDO event, then again in 1999 at Lakeside. Baxter won both of these contests and he then won the first match these two played on the PDC world championship stage in 2002. However the two have met twice since then on the world stage and the Artist has won both in 2003 and ’04, both in the last 16 stage. Rarely have two players met so often on the biggest stage of all and it is credit to the pair’s longevity at the highest level of the game.
Painter had a fairly straight forward time in the first round against Hong Kong qualifier Leung Chen Nam but also looked good doing it averaging over 94 in his 3-0 win. The Rocket did not have it so easy against the ever green Dennis Priestley but still managed a 3-1 win over the Menace and will be confident having come through that.
This one is a pick ‘em contest for me, there is next to nothing between these two great veterans of the sport and Painter being the odds-on favourite seems a bit odd. This could easily be a 10/11 on each man and the 6/5 on Baxter looks a good price especially seen as the Rocket has won five of the two’s last six meetings.
The next is a clash that going into it looks to be severely affected by the first round performances of the two competitors Mark Webster and Colin Lloyd. Webby was not favourite to beat Ian White but he performed brilliantly in seeing off the Diamond and whilst Lloyd was favourite to beat Darin Young he only barely managed it and won’t have taken a great deal of confidence from the win.
Webster has been poor for a year now but that was exactly what his fans wanted to see and with him in the form that saw him average 97 and hit the treble 19 seemingly at will he should have far too much for Jaws who too has been struggling and looks still to be. The Spider to win by two looks about right and he is 6/5 to do just that with Betfred which looks good.
The final match of the afternoon the bookies would have you believe is a foregone conclusion but with an in-form Brendan Dolan about, Raymond van Barneveld will certainly not have it his own way. Barney was absolutely sensational in round one against Michael Smith with his much publicised over 108 average and quite rightly people are now talking about him as a real contender for the title.
Dolan was pretty impressive himself though in round one against Mark Jones and has had another great year on tour. Barney is unlikely to be able to keep up his massive first round average and the Northern Irishman is more than capable of taking a couple of sets off the Dutchman. Over 5.5 sets is available at 11/8 with Sporting Bet and that looks a very possible outcome.
Ronnie Baxter to win @ 6/5 with Bet365
Mark Webster (-1.5) to win @ 6/5 with Betfred
Raymond van Barneveld and Brendan Dolan over 5.5 sets @ 11/8 with Sportingbet
• Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen betting
• James Wade v Michael van Gerwen betting
• Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld betting
• Favourites to keep on winning
• Two epics in prospect on Friday
• Artist to brush the champion aside
• Newton to down Special Brew
• The Bull could charge through Hamilton
• Beaton could push Wade all the way
• Favourites to prosper on Saturday night
• Part and Bull to go the distance
• Comfortable afternoons for Hammer and Chizzy
• Kellett to KO Big Vince
• Priestley to roll back the years
• King and Winstanley set for five sets
• Everybody loves Raymond
• Rodriguez or Bowles to steal the show
• Dolan to continue stellar form
• Part and Cullen could deliver an epic
• Hendriks to strike the right note against Jones
• Don't expect whitewashes on night one
• Big finishes & big averages to come
• Mighty Mike can rule the world
• Hammer has sights set on title
• 9/4 Taylor turns The Power back on
• World title odds slashed as Taylor bounces back