PDC World Championship 2016 – Friday 1st January Preview
Happy New Year from me!
It’s the first day of 2016 and we have four intriguing quarter-final matches to look forward to at the PDC World Championships today, with 2 matches in the afternoon and 2 matches in the evening.
Here is the draw as it now stands
Raymond van Barneveld (16) vs Michael Smith (8)
Adrian Lewis (5) vs Peter Wright (4)
Gary Anderson (2) vs James Wade (7)
Alan Norris vs Jelle Klaasen (19)
Now onto my previews (in order of play)
Afternoon Session (1pm start)
- Norris has matched his conqueror in the 2014 BDO final Stephen Bunting by reaching the PDC World Championship quarter-finals in his debut year in the PDC.
- He played in 2 World Championship quarter-finals in the BDO, winning 1 and losing 1. In 2012 he lost to eventual champion Christian Kist and in 2014 he defeated number 2 seed James Wilson.
- Norris hasn’t trailed in sets at any point of the tournament so far. He won 3-0 against Thornton, went 3-0 up against Murnan before winning 4-1 and 2-0 against Webster before winning 4-1.
- This is Klaasen’s second appearance in a PDC World Championship quarter-final, his first since 2009 when he lost 5-1 to van Barneveld. He did win at this stage on his BDO World Championship debut when he defeated Paul Hogan 5-4 on his way to the title.
- He has featured in 7 PDC TV ranking quarter-finals during his time in the PDC and has only won 1 of these (that was back in 2009 at the European Championships).
- Klaasen held his nerve together to come through a very tense match against Phil Taylor in the last round, having missed a double for the match he found himself 2-0 down in the deciding set but responded by winning the final 4 legs including the last 3 in 13, 12 and 11 darts.
- Klaasen has won both times they have met previously, both during the course of his year, 6-3 in a UK Open qualifier and 6-4 at the Dutch Darts Masters.
This has got the potential to be a very exciting match between two players who can score heavily but can throw in a dose of unpredictability. Norris has finished well with over 44% on his doubles during the tournament and if he keeps that up he will be a danger to Klaasen. The win over Taylor will have given Klaasen huge belief and confidence and I think he will carry that across into this game.
My selected bets are: Klaasen to win with Norris to win at least 2 sets and Norris over 8.5 180’s.
- Anderson is in his 4th PDC World Championship quarter-final, the two times he has been further than this round he went all the way to the final (including winning the tournament last year).
- He has won each of the last 5 PDC TV ranking quarter-finals he has featured in.
- He won very comfortably in the last round against van der Voort and also in the 1st Round vs Boulton, his big test came in the Last 32 when Gurney took the opening set and had darts at double to win each of the next 2 sets.
- Anderson leads Wade 24-11 on head to head wins and hasn’t been beaten by Wade in their last 8 meetings; Wade has actually won their last 3 matches in TV ranking tournaments (the most recent was in the semi-finals at the Grand Prix in 2014).
- Wade is through to his 7th World Championship quarter-final in the last 9 years. He has won 3 and lost 3 of his matches at this stage of the tournament.
- Before this tournament he had only reached 2 quarter-finals from his last 10 TV ranking tournaments, on both of those occasions he did go on to reach the final though (Grand Prix 14 and Matchplay 15).
- Wade hasn’t trailed in sets during any of his matches so far, the only set he has dropped was against Jamie Caven in the Last 16.
Defending champion Gary Anderson has looked in very good form in the opening three rounds and will take some stopping in his bid to retain the title. Wade has cruised through without looking outstanding all of his 3 opponents have only averaged in the 80’s and this is a whole different test. The way Anderson has been playing and the fact he knows what it takes to win the tournament make him the obvious favourite and I can’t disagree. You can’t write off a high quality player like Wade easily but I can’t see him getting the better of Anderson in this match.
My bets for this match are: Anderson to win with Wade winning at least 2 sets and Anderson over 98.5 match average.
Evening Session (7.30pm start)
- This is van Barneveld’s 7th appearance in a PDC World Championship quarter-final, he has only been beaten in 1 of his previous 6 matches at this stage of the tournament, that defeat against Gary Anderson in 2011 when Anderson went on to reach the final.
- Barney has only been beaten in 1 of his last 6 quarter-final appearances in PDC TV ranking tournaments.
- Barney has beaten 2 former World Champions in his last 2 matches (both Bunting and MVG won their titles in the same year 2014). He had to come from behind in both of those matches; 1-0 and 2-1 vs Bunting and 1-0 vs MVG winning both matches in a deciding set.
- This is Smith’s first appearance in a World Championship quarter-final, having exited the tournament in the Last 16 in each of the previous two years.
- Smith has appeared in 2 TV quarter-finals previously; both were at the Grand Slam of Darts. He lost heavily to Taylor in 2014 but defeated Adrian Lewis this year to earn a place in his first TV semi-final at the Grand Slam this year.
- Smith came from 2-1 down in his first game against de Zwaan in a match that went to a deciding leg, since he came back from 1-0 down against Beaton in the 2nd Round he hasn’t trailed in a match.
- Although he trails 5-3 in head to head wins against Barney, Smith has won his last 3 matches against the Dutchman. Barney has won all of their 4 meetings on TV but the last one of these was back in June 2013.
Both players might not have realistically seen such a good opportunity to get through to this year’s semi-finals with van Gerwen heavy favourite in their quarter of the draw, van Barneveld threw the section open wide with his thrilling win over the World Number One but who will seize their chance?
Smith has had a more comfortable passage to this stage, his tournament average and checkout % figures are both superior to that of van Barneveld. Those stats don’t mean as much due to the experience and quality that van Barneveld possess, he showed in his win against MVG that he can beat anybody on his day.
I think Smith is capable of winning this match but the way Barney has pulled out wins over Bunting and MVG would make me wary of backing against Barney, so although I do favour Smith I have chosen some other bets.
My selected bets for this match are:
Over 7.5 sets
Smith over 97.5 match average
van Barneveld over 125.5 checkout
- This is the 8th appearance in a PDC World Championship quarter-final for Adrian Lewis, he made it through to this stage on his debut back in 2006 when he lost to Peter Manley, since losing his first 3 quarter-finals he has won 3 out of the last 4 (the only defeat being to MVG 3 years ago).
- Lewis has won 7 out of his last 9 PDC TV ranking quarter-finals stretching back to June 2013.
- His only World Championships defeats in the last 7 years have been against Taylor, van Barneveld and van Gerwen.
- Lewis has yet to drop a set in the tournament and has won the opening set in each of the last 2 rounds by a 3-0 score line.
- He leads Wright 12-7 on the head to head wins, having won 6 of the 8 matches they have played during 2015. Their last meeting was at the Grand Slam when Lewis won 10-7 in the Last 16, it was a high quality match Lewis averaged 104.7, Wright averaged 101.36 and Lewis was over 62% on his doubles.
- This is his 3rd consecutive appearance in the PDC World Championship quarter-finals, in 2014 he won in a deciding set against Newton, last year he was beaten 5-1 by Gary Anderson.
- Since losing in the World Championship quarter-finals last year Wright has won the last 3 PDC TV ranking quarter-finals he has appeared in.
- After breezing through the opening 2 rounds he was taken to a deciding set in the Last 16 against Dave Chisnall, the final set going all the way to the 10th leg with Wright winning 6-4 to earn his place in this round.
- All of Wright’s defeats at World Championships have been against players who have either won or gone on to win a World Championship.
This should be a very high quality match to round off the quarter-finals. Lewis has a real confidence and focus about him in this tournament, although he hasn’t really been tested yet much of this down to the standard of his darts. Wright has proven his capabilities of performing to a high standard at the business end of tournaments and showed the composure he possesses in the tense match against Chisnall.
I thought before the tournament that Lewis had a real chance of winning this and I still think he will get to the final, Wright will push him all the way but I think Jackpot will get the win here.
My selected bet is for Lewis to win with both players to win 2 or more sets.
Enjoy the darts and don’t forget to catch me on twitter @3dartanalyst