2016 PDC Unibet Masters – Semi-final Previews
Here are my previews for tonight’s semi-finals at the 2016 PDC Unibet Masters.
Chisnall vs Wade
Chisnall may have struggled for form in his first match but he lifted his game significantly in his quarter-final win over van der Voort. In that Last 8 win over the Dutchman he averaged over 104 with just under 59% success on his double attempts and 8x 180’s.
Wade averaged just over 91 for the second match in succession when he defeated Kim Huybrechts in the quarter-finals. Huybrechts didn’t perform the way he did in his win over Lewis and failed to push Wade who did all he needed to do and took his chances when they came.
Head to Head
Wade leads their head to head record 9-5 but he did win 5 out of their first 6 meetings which shows how things have been more even recently. In their last 7 matches they have won 3 each and shared a draw in a Premier League match last season. In their last meeting on TV which was in the Premier league Chisnall won 7-1 with an average of 114.17.
In the quarter-finals Chisnall improved so much from his opening round win, if he performs to that level he will really take some stopping and he has proven before that he can play to an even higher level over this distance as well. If he finds his rhythm there are few better at finding the T20, when his finishing is in sync too he is such a tough opponent to beat. Wade has no lack of experience and even though he hasn’t been a stand out performer so far he knows it’s all about just getting the win no matter what the stats show.
There is always the possibility that Wade will raise his game but I don’t see Chisnall fading significantly and he will have the scoring power to create more chances on the Wade throw than Wade will be able to create on the Chisnall throw. I predict an 11-8 win for Chisnall.
van Gerwen vs Taylor
MVG has been almost faultless in his run to the semi-finals, following up his 10-1 win over Bunting with a 10-3 win against Michael Smith. His tournament average is over 108 and he has hit 20 of his 30 attempts at a double.
Taylor had a very tough encounter with Peter Wright in the quarter-finals, having trailed 9-8 he managed to win the final two legs in 13 and 11 darts to take the match 10-9. Taylor’s tournament average is 103.32 and he has hit over 46% of his double attempts.
Head to Head
Taylor has a big lead over MVG in their overall head to head meetings with 26 wins to 15. That doesn’t tell the whole story though as prior to van Gerwen winning his first major PDC title at the Grand Prix in 2012 Taylor had 16 wins to the 2 of van Gerwen, meaning MVG is leading 13-10 since October 2012. MVG has won their last 4 encounters including most recently at the Grand Slam last November. Taylor’s last win against van Gerwen was in August 2014. Perhaps surprisingly this is the first time van Gerwen and Taylor have ever met in the semi-finals of a TV tournament and only once have they met away from the TV screens in a semi-final.
Michael van Gerwen has been in scintillating form in his two matches so far, winning at a canter and looking extremely motivated to win this tournament by destroying every opponent in his path. Taylor has definitely shown signs of looking much more confident and is displaying a lot more composure on his doubles than in recent times. This won’t be a runaway victory for van Gerwen but I do think he will be too strong for Taylor and win 11-7 or 11-8.