Wade v Whitlock: Wizard can Wade into semis
The second quarter-final at the World Matchplay is a seriously heavy hitting affair as the world number four James Wade takes on the man one place behind him in the rankings Simon Whitlock.
Both men have avoided some scares along the way to date to come through to this stage but each will know the tournament is about to get all the more difficult as both are well aware of the other's prodigious talents.
It is Wade who has fired in the more impressive averages in his two wins over John Part and Gary Anderson thus far but Whitlock has certainly not played badly and has had to fight hard in both his victories over Jelle Klaasen and Kevin Painter.
Due to Wade’s impressive record in this competition that has seen him reach five finals, winning one of them, it is he who is the odds-on favourite to prosper in this match at a best price of 4/6 with Sky Bet. However, after a look at the head-to-head record between the two it quickly becomes clear that the 11/8 that Boyle Sports are offering on the Wizard looks a great price.
The pair have met a huge amount of times since Whitlock made the big time in the PDC at the end of 2010 and it is he who has won significantly more games than Wade when they have met. They have already met four times this year with the Aussie winning three of them and Whitlock holds a victory over the Machine on the biggest stage of all when he knocked him out of the 2010 World Championship.
The Beard to be Feared has also been in fine form of late as he proved with a run to the final of the European Championship over in Germany whereas Wade went out in round two of the competition on the continent.
All this considered it seems that Whitlock looks an excellent bet at 11/8 and that is certainly going to be my recommendation for this one. Wade has a stunning record in Blackpool but that does not always count for everything and he could well be ousted by the Aussie on Thursday night.
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