PDC World Championship – Wednesday 30th December Preview

It’s the final session of darts on TV this calendar year as the round of the Last 16 at the PDC World Championships draws to a close tonight.

The order of play for this evening is:

Peter Wright vs Dave Chisnall

Alan Norris vs Mark Webster

Phil Taylor vs Jelle Klaasen

It’s hard to see  any match topping what we saw last night when Raymond van Barneveld somehow defeated Michael van Gerwen in 7 sets of pure drama, but hopefully we will see some good competitive matches to end the 2015 darting year.

Here are my previews.

Wright vs Chisnall

Wright vs Chisnall

  • Both of these players have reached a World Championship Final, Wright in the PDC and Chisnall in the BDO. Chisnall has yet to get past this round in the PDC World Championships though.
  • Wright has been untroubled and untested in reaching this stage of the tournament; he hasn’t dropped a set and has only conceded 6 legs over his two matches.
  • Chisnall has had 3-0 and 4-1 wins in the opening two rounds, 6 of the 8 sets he has played have gone to a deciding leg with Chisnall winning 5 of those 6 deciding legs.
  • Wright upped his 1st Round average of 95.9 in the 2nd Round with an average of 99.1 in his win over Ronny Huybrechts.
  • Chisnall posted an impressive 102.85 average in his Last 32 win against Kist, having averaged over 99 in the 1st Round he has an overall tournament average of 101.37.
  • Chisnall leads their head to head wins 9-4, winning 4 out of 5 played during 2015, the last two encounters have both been in TV ranking tournaments (Chisnall winning in the group stage at the Grand Slam where he also hit a 9 dart finish and in the 1st Round of the Grand Prix).

Verdict

This should be a high quality Last 16 match and surely won’t be a runaway win for either player. Chisnall has an edge in their head to head meetings especially on TV but most of their matches have been over a shorter format. I think it’s very hard to pick a winner, Wright has the consistency but Chisnall is capable of runs of scoring that not many can match and also winning back to back legs in 10 or 11 darts. Both players have a good 180 count and I think this is the market to look into if having a bet on the match. Wright over 7.5, Chisnall over 8.5 and a match total of over 16.5 are all likely.

 

Norris vs Webster

Norris vs M Webster

  • Webster has won a World Championship during his time in the BDO and has two semi-final appearances during his time in the PDC. Norris has also appeared in a BDO World Final, this was only 2 years ago when he was runner-up to Bunting.
  • Norris has dropped 1 set over his opening two matches, defeating number 6 seed Robert Thornton 3-0 and then Joe Murnan 4-1.
  • Webster hasn’t conceded a set in this year’s tournament so far; he enjoyed a very comfortable 4-0 win over number 11 seed Terry Jenkins in the Last 32.
  • The tournament average for Norris is just over 95.5, although his match average dropped from in the 2nd Round he did hit a very impressive 11x 180s in his win over Murnan.
  • Webster had the lowest tournament average of any of the players who reached the Last 16, though his scoring in the Last 32 was improved from the 1st Round missed doubles brought the average down.
  • This is the first time Norris and Webster and met in competitive tournament play.

Verdict

This is a match between two players who weren’t seeded to reach this stage but it’s no big shock that either has won through to the Last 16. Webster starts as the favourite; he has a bigger pedigree than Norris and is the more consistent player. Norris can score very heavily and this will always give him chances in a match, Webster is excellent at taking out doubles when it matters. I agree with the bookies that Webster is the favourite but I give Norris a real chance too and think this could go the full 7 sets. I think Norris over 7.5 180s and Webster over 116.5 checkout are bets worth considering.

 

Taylor vs Klaasen

Taylor vs Klaasen

  • No player in World Championship history can even come close to matching Taylor’s record in the tournament, his 16 wins unlikely ever to be beaten. Klaasen won the BDO World Championship on his debut 10 years ago; he hasn’t been to the Last 16 of the PDC World Championships since he reached the quarter-finals in the 2009 tournament.
  • Taylor has only dropped 1 set on his way to this stage of the tournament but his Last 32 win against Painter was a lot tougher than the 4-1 win suggests, he had a very slow start to the game and had Painter taken his chances Taylor may have trailed 3-0.
  • Klaasen had a very comfortable win in the opening round against Joe Cullen but the Last 32 match against King was a lot trickier, Klaasen lost 5 of the opening 6 legs with King missing a dart to go 2 sets to 0 ahead, Jelle improved and turned the game around to finish as a worthy winner but missed too many doubles for his own liking.
  • Both Taylor and Klaasen saw a decrease in their averages in the 2nd Round from their 1st Round numbers. Much of this was down to missed doubles, Taylor missed 34 against Painter and Klaasen missed 32 against King.
  • Taylor has a healthy 11-2 winning record against Klaasen but his last win against the Dutchman came in 2010, the only time they have met since then came earlier this year on the Pro Tour in a semi-final with Klaasen coming out on top winning 6-2.

Verdict

Klaasen has had an excellent season and isn’t likely to go into the match fearing Taylor, the head to head record is heavily In Taylor’s favour but given that he hasn’t lost to Taylor since 2010 means it shouldn’t be a factor especially as Klaasen defeated him earlier this year. Taylor has made very slow starts to both of his matches so far, but has finished the matches well (winning 5 straight legs in the 1st Round and 6 straight legs in the 2nd Round, all in 15 darts or less). Klaasen has the ability but can’t afford to mess about on the doubles which occasionally is his weakness. A good start from Klaasen gives him a real chance, both players finishing is too unpredictable for me to be confident on the outcome. My selected bet on this match is over 5.5 sets.

 

The tournament will resume on New Years Day with all four quarter-finals being played on that day.

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