PDC World Championships 2016 – Saturday 2nd January Preview

We are now at the semi-final stage of the 2016 PDC World Championships and all of the four players left in the tournament have experience of winning a World Championship (be in the PDC or BDO).

The action all starts at 8pm and the order of play is:

van Barneveld vs Lewis

Anderson vs Klaasen

Here are my previews to help guide you through the matches.

van Barneveld vs Lewis

van Barneveld

  • This is van Barneveld’s 6th PDC World Championship semi-final added to his 7 semi-finals from his time in the BDO it will be his 13th World Championship semi-final. He has lost in each of his last 3 PDC World Championship semi-finals.
  • Barney has actually lost his last 7 PDC TV ranking semi-final matches; the last time he won one was at the Matchplay in 2010. Though he has reached the final of non-ranked TV events since then, it’s still an interesting stat.
  • He has beaten seeded players in each of the last 3 rounds (17 – Bunting, 1 – van Gerwen, 8 – Smith) and had to come from behind in each of those matches, winning all 3 in a deciding set.
  • No player left in the tournament has had as many ton plus finishes as van Barneveld. He has a total of 13 over his 4 matches (6 of these have been 121 finishes).

Lewis

  • Lewis will be playing in his 4th World Championship semi-final. He has won 2 of the previous 3 and went on to win the title after doing so. His last World Championship semi-final was 2 years ago when he failed to win a set from MVG.
  • Overall he has won 10 of his 14 PDC TV ranking semi-finals, including winning 7 of his last 9.
  • Lewis has only dropped 2 sets in the tournament so far, both of these came in the quarter-finals and he was 3-0 and 4-1 up at the time he dropped sets.
  • He has the highest tournament checkout percentage out of any of the semi-finalists, hitting 45.95% of his double attempts.

Head to Head

van Barneveld leads their head to head record 27 wins to 18, but Lewis has won 6 of their 8 meetings during 2015, including each of the last 3. They met last year in the World Championships at the Last 16 stage with Barney winning 4-3 (Lewis led 16-15 on legs won). Lewis paid for missed doubles in that match having only hit 32% of his attempts.

Verdict

Both players have been all the way at the World Championships so know what it takes. Lewis has been the more impressive player in making light work of his opponents and has played consistently well throughout the tournament, van Barneveld has improved as the tournament has progressed coming through what seemed to be unlikely winning positions. It is hard to write Barney off the way he has pulled through and if he does fall behind he is unlikely to panic, Lewis might also have in mind the way Barney has clawed his way back into matches.

I was impressed with the attitude of Lewis coming into the tournament and I have been impressed by the way he has gone about his business during the tournament. I believe he will make it through to his 3rd World Championship final.

My selected bets are: Lewis to win with RVB to win at least 3 sets, over 128.5 checkout for van Barneveld and over 128.5 checkout for Lewis.

 

Anderson vs Klaasen

Anderson

  • Anderson has played in 2 PDC World Championship semi-finals prior to this year, winning both of them. Last year at this stage of the tournament he defeated reigning champion van Gerwen.
  • Anderson has played in 8 PDC TV ranking semi-finals and has only lost in 2 of them. Those defeats were both very narrow losses, 5-4 to Wade at the Grand Prix and 17-15 to Taylor at the Matchplay both in 2014.
  • He has dropped the least amount of legs (19) of anyone left in the tournament and he also has the highest tournament average of any of the semi-finalists (101.53).

Klaasen

  • This is Klaasen’s first ever PDC World Championship semi-final, though he did of course get through the semi-finals when he won the BDO title in 2006.
  • He has only ever reached one TV ranking semi-final in the PDC, this was at the European Championships in 2009, he lost to Phil Taylor on that occasion.
  • Klaasen has had to come through a deciding set in each of his last two matches, impressively winning 4 legs in a row at the end of his match vs Taylor and 5 in a row at the end of his match vs Norris.

Head to Head

Anderson has 10 wins to Klaasen’s 6 and has won each of their last 6 encounters going back to May 2013. Anderson had a very tense 4-3 win over Klaasen at last year’s World Championships, in that match Anderson was 3-1 down in sets and 2-1 down in legs with Klassen having the throw to win the match, Anderson broke throw with a 12 dart leg and managed to turn the match around somehow.

Verdict

Gary Anderson has made a very confident and comfortable defence of his title so far, only dropping 2 sets on his way to this stage, Klaasen has played to a high standard throughout but has had a much tougher time than Anderson has, having come through 2 last set deciders. Their match at the World Championships last year was one of the games of the tournament and a repeat of that would make for enthralling viewing. Klaasen can be erratic but he can reel off consecutive legs of 12 darts or less that will win him sets but he will also push Anderson to a high level in response. I see Klaasen working Anderson hard but think the World Champion will dig deep and go a step further to retaining his title.

My selected bets are: Anderson to win with Klaasen winning at least 3 sets and Klaasen over 122.5 checkout.

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