Wade and Lewis set for another classic
There is often talk of a lack of proper rivalries in the game nowadays but one that stands out as a beacon of bad blood is the duel between Adrian Lewis and James Wade which reconvenes on Sunday night in the quarter-finals of the World Championships.
These two have met a huge amount of times since they both burst onto the scene nearly a decade ago now; and despite Lewis having won two world titles it is Wade who has had much the better of those contests winning 22 to Jackpot’s 12.
The big one, the really big one, was won by Lewis though when he came back from 5-1 down in the 2012 semi-final to prosper 6-5 and go on to win his second world crown. Jackpot is the clear favourite for victory again at a best price of 2/5 with Bet365 whilst the Machine is out at 12/5 with Ladbrokes.
The head-to-head record suggests this is a very decent price, as does Wade’s performance in the last round when he fired in an average of over 99 to destroy Devon Petersen. Considering the number of matches the man from Aldershot wins with a much lower average, the fact he is producing those figures makes him a real threat.
Lewis certainly seems to have a higher gear than Wade at the moment though and having only dropped two sets thus far suggests he is keeping his opponents at bay extremely well. He should win this one but Wade will push him closer than Dennis Smith, Vincent van der Voort or Mervyn King have managed. Their previous World Championship meeting is a good barometer and with over 7.5 sets being odds-on in places, it looks great value at 11/10 with Stan James.
The first quarter-final is expected to be a much more one-sided affair with Michael van Gerwen clear favourite at 1/9 with Sporting Bet to see off Mark Webster. The Welshman is all the way out at 8/1 with Bet365 but should not be completely written off for a couple of reasons. Firstly, he eliminated Raymond van Barneveld in the third round which is no mean feat, secondly he has a tremendous World Championship record with two semi-final appearances in the PDC and of course winning the BDO event.
However, Spider has not averaged over 93 yet this tournament and he will need to seriously up that to trouble MVG. All three of his matches thus far have gone to a deciding set and it is more his battling qualities than his sublime arrows that have been on display.
Mighty Mike has been steadily improving and went past the 100 mark in terms of average when he beat Gary Anderson on Saturday. There is certainly a case for Webby but a far stronger one for the Dutchman and it would be a huge surprise if he lost.
Where Webster has impressed though is in hitting 180s. The former world champ has managed 21 in his three matches so far, averaging out at seven per game. Now in his longest contest of the tournament he can easily repeat that feat. Over 6.5 180s from Spider is odds-on in places but a very tempting 6/5 with Bet365 which should be backed.
Adrian Lewis v James Wade over 7.5 sets @ 11/10 with Stan James
Mark Webster over 6.5 180s @ 6/5 with Bet365
• MVG must hit the heights to beat Wright
• Lewis to get the better of MVG
• Newton can out-180 Wright
• Saturday afternoon to be a 180-fest
• Whitlock and Painter to fire in the maximums
• Pipe to win dance-off with Petersen
• Jackpot and Dutch Destroyer to turn on the style
• Part no pushover for Newton
• Painter and Nicholson to go all the way
• Taylor bullied and beaten by Smith
• Burnett can push the Hammer in round two
• Barney and Caven could produce classic
• Webster in trouble against Suljovic
• Bomber Brown to destroy Smith
• MVG and Whitlock to stroll through
• Baxter to be swamped by Evans
• Caven to out Klaas Jelle
• Nicholson and Kellett could go all the way
• Walsh in trouble against Komula
• Wright and Cullen can steal the show
• Taylor will prove he is still King of the world