Wade v Klaasen: Machine to show his Klaas
Rarely will a former world champion come into a game against a man who has never lifted the trophy and have a price of 9/2, but such have the careers of Jelle Klaasen and James Wade differed over recent years.
Since becoming the youngest world champion in history at Lakeside in 2006 the Dutchman has not really kicked on as many expected and has not been past a major semi-final since.
The Matador is now out of the world’s top 32 and needs a win over Wade to have any chance of being back in the elite group when the dust settles after the world championships.
The Machine though has no such problems to deal with having added another UK Open title to his list of major wins earlier this year he now has Adrian Lewis’ number two spot in his sights.
However, whilst Wade has decorated his mantelpiece with the other three traditional majors, and the Premier League, he has always struggled in the biggest tournament of them all, reaching the semi-final just once back in 2009.
This could be Wade’s year though and he will certainly hold no fears over a contest with Klaasen who he has beaten 13 times, losing only once over six years ago. The only thing that suggests the former BDO champion might cause a problem is that he was reasonably impressive in beating Peter Wright in the first round. When he gets into a rhythm he is a very dangerous opponent, as he did when reaching the quarter-finals at the Ally Pally in 2009.
I can’t look beyond a Wade victory though but the best price of 1/5 is not going to fund much Christmas shopping so I would back him with a -2.5 handicap at 10/11 with Paddy Power.
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