World Matchplay Darts – Day Six Preview
We are now down to the final eight at the World Matchplay with two games tonight and two games on Friday night, the format is longer than the last round with matches the first to 16. Tonight’s matches see Peter Wright face unseeded Gerwyn Price and world number one Michael van Gerwen will play number nine seed Ian White.
As usual I have my stat comparison chart where you can check the players tournament stats against each other and some analysis also.
• Wright won through 13-7 in the Last 16 against Andrew Gilding. It was a competent performance from Wright doing what he needed to do though he wasn’t really pushed by a disappointing display from Gilding. Wright did show some good form on the 180’s hitting 10 in the match but his doubling was below his usual level.
• Gerwyn Price was outstanding against Adrian Lewis in his last match; Price belied his inexperience of the big TV stage, his treble 20 hitting and double top finishing consistently keeping Lewis at bay. Price was averaging 110 after 10 legs and a 104 after 15 legs with Lewis himself not far away from those numbers. Price’s average dropped to 98 by the end of the match but that is still impressive.
• Verdict: The only previous meeting between these two players was in December at the World Championship with Wright winning 3-0 in sets (9-5 in legs). Price gave a good account of himself in that match but has also improved and has picked up more experience in the months since then. It really is an intriguing match. Can Price back up his performance against Lewis? Wright is a very accomplished player on the TV stage with excellent scoring and finishing capabilities. Wright will be starting as favourite and I would edge towards him winning this but on the basis of his performance against Lewis and consistency on tour in recent months you can’t rule out Price causing another upset.
• Michael van Gerwen’s performance in the last round when he defeated Jamie Lewis 13-2 was of the highest level, Lewis wasn’t playing poorly but the way MVG almost effortlessly swept him aside was a sight to behold. High scoring, clinical finishing, responding immediately to high scores from his opponent he showed it all. A 110 average with a checkout % of 59% says it all.
• In the Last 16 White didn’t hit the heights of his first round win, White won every leg after being 9-6 down but it has to be said Whitlock went off the boil as much as White improved his scoring. Still plenty of credit due to White for sticking in and turning the game around though.
• Verdict: van Gerwen leads 7-2 on the head to head record; White’s last win was in June 2012 against a much different van Gerwen. They met in the World Matchplay last year in the Last 16 with MVG winning at a canter 13-4. White can have patches of heavy scoring but hitting big scores again van Gerwen is like poking a lion with a stick. I predict another 100+ average from van Gerwen and a performance that will once again show why he is favourite for the tournament.