Nicholson v Beaton: The Asset has the advantage
Both of these men were very impressive in their group stages as Paul Nicholson managed to relegate the higher ranked Wes Newton to second in Group F, whilst Steve Beaton’s wins over Mervyn King and James Hubbard saw him clinch the much vaunted second spot in Group E behind Phil Taylor.
This is Nicholson’s first appearance in the knockout stages of the Grand Slam but that won’t affect his confidence or that of the bookmakers who have The Asset as fifth-favourite to lift the trophy, only behind Taylor, Lewis, Anderson and Wade. In comparison Steve Beaton reached the semi-finals last year, but is the rank outsider this time around, with Sky Bet having him as long as 80/1.
The consistency of Nicholson has been very impressive this year, but also in this tournament alone. He averaged over 90 in each of his three group stage contests, an achievement that only Phil Taylor and Mark Webster can also boast.
The Bronzed Adonis hasn’t been a million miles behind his adversary though, averaging over 90 in his defeat of James Hubbard and loss to Taylor, and surprisingly the only time he dropped below was in his impressive 5-3 win over King.
Despite Nicholson being 20 places ahead of Beaton in the PDC Order of Merit and a heavy favourite for the match, the 1996 BDO World Champion has won all three of the contests between the two this year and thrashed The Asset 5-1 the last time they met on the Wolverhampton stage last year.
Having said that, I still expect the Geordie/Aussie to prevail and reach the quarter-finals and William Hill are offering some pretty good odds of 11/10 for Nicholson to take it with a -2.5 handicap.
• Taylor v Anderson: Play the obvious 180s markets
• Anderson v Walsh: End of the line for Special Brew
• Taylor v Lewis: Which Lewis will turn up?
• Taylor v Nicholson: Yet another grudge match
• Webster v Lewis: Spider to cast his web
• Anderson v Jenkins: Scotsman to continue flying
• Walsh v Hankey: Count on the experienced player
• Lewis v Part: Merciless Maple to punish any lapses
• Taylor v Newton: Phil to Power in the 180s
• Jenkins v Jones: The Bull is back
• Van Gerwen v Hankey: Clash of the egos
• Wade v Anderson: Back the consistent Machine
• Newton v Bates: More pain for Champagne
• Stompe v Phillips: Decider to go all the way
• Grand Slam Betting: Hankey v White
• Grand Slam Betting: OShea v Van Gerwen
• Grand Slam Betting: Pipe v Chisnall
• Grand Slam Betting: Taylor v Beaton
• Grand Slam Betting: Van der Voort v Phillips
• Grand Slam Betting: Webster v Part
• Grand Slam Betting: Newton v Nicholson
• Grand Slam Betting: Anderson v Dolan
• Grand Slam Betting: Wade v Pipe
• Grand Slam Betting: Chisnall v Jenkins
• Grand Slam Betting: King v Beaton
• Grand Slam Betting: Battle of the Dutch
• Grand Slam Betting: Wade v Chisnall
• Grand Slam Betting: Anderson v Heydon
• Grand Slam Betting: Waites v Van Gerwen
• Grand Slam Betting: Taylor v Hubbard
• Grand Slam Betting: Jenkins v Pipe
• Grand Slam Betting: Waites has Scott what it takes
• Grand Slam of Darts group stage betting
• Whitlock out of Grand Slam
• Caris & Heydon complete GSOD line-up