2016 World Matchplay – Day Six Preview

We are down to the last eight at the 2016 World Matchplay and the first two quarter-finals will be contested this evening (Thursday). With Michael van Gerwen, Dave Chisnall, Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis all in action we should be in for some top class darts action.

Here are my previews for tonight’s matches:

Wright v Lewis

Wright

  • Wright has been pretty much untroubled in reaching the quarter-finals. Apart from after losing the first leg against Cullen in round one he has never been behind in the tournament and has recorded comfortable 10-5 and 11-6 wins over Cullen and White.
  • His averages and checkout percentages over his two games have been very consistent, averaging 99.66 and 98.87; his double stats have been 45.45% and 44%. Even his highest checkout has been consistent as his highest in both matches was 116.
  • This will be Wright’s 12th appearance in a major TV ranking quarter-final, he has won 6 of the previous 11, including winning 4 of the last 5.

Lewis

  • Lewis won comfortably against Gerwyn Price in round two but it wasn’t a convincing performance with both players only averaging in the mid 80’s for most of the game, all of the pre-match talk seemed to have affected both players and it was a forgettable match.
  • His tournament average after 2 games is only 88.91; realistically you would expect Lewis to be averaging 10 points higher than that, his average against Price was his lowest for over 10 years at the Matchplay.
  • This will be his 8th appearance in the quarter-finals at the Matchplay; he has won 3 of the previous 7. The last 2 players to beat Lewis in the quarters lost in the next game.
  • Lewis will be playing in his 32nd major TV ranking quarter-final, he has won 8 of his last 10 quarter-finals in TV major ranking tournaments.

Head to Head

They have played 26 times previously with Lewis having the upper hand with 16 wins to 8 (they have drawn twice in the Premier League). Lewis has only lost 3 of his last 14 matches against Peter Wright and won their most recent encounter only a few weeks ago in Japan. In other notable TV matches Lewis came out on top in the 2016 World Championship quarter-final, last 16 of the 2015 Grand Slam and quarter-final of the 2015 Masters.

Verdict

If this match was decided solely on performances in this tournament then Wright would be the winner but Lewis is likely to play a lot better here than he did in the first two rounds. Lewis has an excellent record against Wright and I think they will both be aware of that. Lewis has beaten Wright in some high profile matches over the last 10 months. The key to the match though is if Lewis can reach the level he is capable of after two below par matches, Wright has been consistent throughout so far and also has more in the tank.

I think this game should be as hard fought and close as their rankings suggest, it’s a tough game to call without doubt. I am just edging towards Lewis on the basis of his recent record against Wright but it’s not a confident prediction.

 

van Gerwen v Chisnall

van Gerwen

  • Michael van Gerwen has dropped just 3 legs in the first two rounds, his 11-3 win over Kyle Anderson adding to the opening round 10-0 vs Jamie Caven. His tournament average is over 104 and his tournament double success % is 51.2%.
  • This is van Gerwen’s 5th consecutive time in the quarter-finals at the Matchplay and he has won each of his last 3 quarter-finals in the tournament. In his quarter-final wins over the last 3 years his opponents have been getting closer to him: Chinsall 16-11 (2013), Chisnall 16-12 (2014) and White 16-13 (2015). His defeat came against James Wade in 2012.
  • He will be competing in his 22nd major TV ranking quarter-final and has won each of his last 14 matches in major TV ranking quarter-finals.

Chisnall

  • Chisnall eased through his Last 16 match against Thornton, winning 11-2. His average was in the 100’s throughout and although his finishing was 42.31% this includes a leg where he threw 11 darts before hitting a double. He averaged 50% in the first round so barring that one bad leg against Thornton his finishing has been very good.
  • He is appearing is his 4th Matchplay quarter-final in a row, having lost each of the 3 previous ones to van Gerwen (twice) and Taylor, Chisnall averaged over 99 in all 3 of those matches. Interestingly none of the players who beat Chisnall in the quarters went on to win the tournament (van Gerwen 2013 and Taylor 2015 lost in the semis, whilst van Gerwen 2014 lost in the final).
  • This is Chisnall’s 11th appearance in a PDC TV ranking tournament quarter-final and he has only won 2 of the previous 10. His last win in a major PDC TV ranking tournament quarter-final came at the Grand Prix in 2013. Though he did reach the final at non ranked TV events such as at the Masters earlier this year and the Grand Slam in 2014, he has also reached semi-finals in World Series events.

Head to Head

MVG and Chisnall are certainly no strangers to playing each other; this is their 10th meeting in 2016 alone. van Gerwen has a big lead in the head to head with 29 wins to 9. He has won each of the last 7 including most recently in Japan in early July. Chisnall’s one and only TV win over van Gerwen came back in 2013 at the Grand Prix and I make it that they have played 15 TV matches since then.

Prediction

Michael van Gerwen has dominated in TV matches against Chisnall as is shown in the stats above and as a result he is heavily fancied to win this match, van Gerwen has been looking good in the tournament so far but this will be his first real test. Chisnall is capable of pushing van Gerwen but the problem for Chisnall is that the harder he pushes the more van Gerwen responds and produces an even higher level of darts. Does Chisnall have the game to beat MVG? Yes without a doubt, but he is unfortunate that van Gerwen seems to love playing against him. I think we could be in for an entertaining high scoring match with plenty of big scores and some big finishes with van Gerwen the man going through to the semi-finals.

 

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