PDC World Championship – Saturday 26th December Preview
The PDC World Championship action resumes this evening after a two day break. The tournament is now down to the Last 32 stage and there are some intriguing matches in the draw.
Here is the full draw for the Last 32:
Michael van Gerwen (1) vs Darren Webster
Raymond van Barneveld (16) vs Stephen Bunting (17)
Michael Smith (8) vs Steve Beaton (25)
Dimitri van den Bergh vs Benito van de Pas (24)
Adrian Lewis (5) vs Andrew Gilding (28)
Dave Pallett vs Mensur Suljovic (21)
Peter Wright (4) vs Ronny Huybrechts
Dave Chisnall (13) vs Christian Kist
Gary Anderson (2) vs Daryl Gurney
Vincent van der Voort (15) vs Kyle Anderson
James Wade (7) vs Wes Newton (26)
Ricky Evans vs Jamie Caven (23)
Alan Norris vs Joe Murnan
Terry Jenkins (11) vs Mark Webster (22)
Phil Taylor (3) vs Kevin Painter (30)
Mervyn King (14) vs Jelle Klaasen (19)
Onto my previews for tonight’s matches..
- Ricky Evans has reached this stage of the tournament by playing a total of 8 matches, having had to come through the PDPA qualifiers. He’s actually beaten two former World Championship finalists and a semi-finalist along the way (Whitlock, Shepherd and Wayne Jones).
- He made a tremendous comeback in his opening round win against Whitlock, trailing 2 sets to 0 and 2 legs to 0 he was on his way out, but Whitlock missed 2 darts to win the match and Evans reeled off 6 legs in a row to take the match to a deciding set and won the fifth set 6-4.
- Evans reached the Last 32 on his only other World Championship appearance 2 years ago, he lost 4-2 to King on that occasion, the match was tied at 2 sets all only for King to win 6 out of 8 legs and seal the win.
- Caven had a trouble free passage into this round having comfortably won 3-0 against Rob Szabo in the Last 64. Caven averaged over 96.5 and dropped just two legs in that match.
- This is his 4th time in the Last 32 at the PDC Worlds and he has yet to win a match in this round of the tournament. In each of the last 2 years he has been beaten in a deciding set 4-3 (both times by van Barneveld).
- 2 years ago he led 3-2 against RVB only to be denied and last year he actually won more legs overall than van Barneveld despite losing the match.
- Only twice in his last eleven PDC TV ranking tournaments has Caven managed to get through to the Last 16 , both times were towards the end of 2014 when he reached the Last 16 at the European Championship and Quarter-final at the Players Championship.
Both players like to play at a quick tempo so this match should move at quite a pace; Caven of course isn’t as fast as Evans, but who is! There is likely to be more pressure on Caven as he is the seeded player and this is probably his best chance of getting through to the Last 16 at a World Championships, this could be a factor in the game. They have met twice before on the Pro Tour (2014 and 2013), Caven winning the most recent 6-5, though Evans won the previous encounter 6-5. I can see this match also being a close one too, I have no preference on who wins but think it could go the full 7 sets.
- Chisnall had one of the highest averages of the opening round with his 99.37 against Rowby-John Rodriguez, that was actually his highest ever World Championship average. All 3 sets against Rodriguez went to a deciding leg; Chisnall’s opponent also missed 4 darts to take the second set.
- He is aiming to get through to the Last 16 for the first time in 3 years, he reached the Last 16 on his debut and again the year after. Last year he was beaten 4-2 by Benito van de Pas at this stage of the tournament despite having led 2-1 and winning 8 of the opening 11 legs of the match.
- Chisnall has won his last 2 matches against Kist (both this year on the Pro Tour), Kist has won twice against Chisnall too but those wins came in 2014.
- Kist was a comfortable 3-0 1st Round winner against Justin Pipe, having trailed 2-1 in the first set Kist won 8 legs in a row to ease through against what proved to be limited resistance (Pipe didn’t have a double attempt in those 8 legs).
- He hasn’t been further than the Last 32 at a World Championship tournament since he won the BDO version on his World Championship debut; his defeats have been against Klaasen, Robbie Green and James Wilson.
- The win against Pipe was only the second win for Kist in his last 7 matches on TV.
Chisnall showed flashed of brilliance in his opening round win with a 10 dart finish added to 2x 11 dart finishes, he also had some lapses which could have been punished. Kist impressed against Pipe but it is hard to judge as Pipe was out of sorts. Kist looked confident and comfortable on the stage and an on form Kist can pose some problems for Chisnall. In reality Chisnall should win and I think he will win but if he doesn’t find his range on the T20 early Kist could take advantage.
- Defending champion Anderson had no problems in his 3-0 win against Andy Boulton on the opening night of the tournament, he opened with 2 eleven dart legs and won the first two sets without even conceding a dart at a double. The final set wasn’t as good but overall a comfortable progression.
- The only time Anderson has failed to get through the Last 32 was on his debut in the PDC World Championships (the 2010 tournament). On that occasion he was beaten 4-0 by Ronnie Baxter. Last year he faced defeat against Klaasen at 3-1 down but managed to somehow retrieve the match and win a 4-3 thriller.
- He has lost both of his last 2 matches against Gurney and both of these came in 2015. The most significant of these came only last month at the Players Championship Finals when Gurney won 10-4, Anderson did only average 86.70 which was his lowest TV average since his first round match against Kirchner at this tournament last year.
- Gurney defeated Jamie Lewis 3-1 in the opening round, he made the ideal start to the match winning the 1st set 3-0 and averaging over 109 in the process, Lewis levelled at 1-1 and they were locked at 2-2 in the 2nd set, Gurney crucially took the 5th leg of that set and went on to win the next set to book his passage in the Last 32.
- He lost 4-1 against Dave Chisnall the last time he reached this stage at a World Championships, that was a high quality match in which Gurney averaged over 96 and pushed Chisnall harder than the score suggests.
- Gurney had his best run in a TV tournament only last month when he reached the semis at the Players Championship Finals, as mentioned above Anderson was one of his victims along the way.
Gurney won’t lack confidence against Anderson having beaten him recently on TV but I also think Anderson will be very well motivated for revenge and also not wanting to give up his World title. Gurney has the scoring power to make sure Anderson is kept under pressure but that works both ways as Anderson will also create a lot of chances too. I feel Anderson will turn up for business here and post a good performance and I am tipping him to win 4-2 or 4-1.
Hope you enjoyed my previews, don’t forget to check back tomorrow for more previews and also catch me on twitter @3dartanalyst.