2016 Grand Slam of Darts – Final Preview

The 2016 Grand Slam of Darts final will be contested between Michael van Gerwen and James Wade.

With the short turnaround between the semi-finals and final I haven’t had much time to produce a detailed preview but here’s a shortened version that I hope you will find useful.

van-gerwen-v-wade

Van Gerwen really stepped up a level in his semi-final win over Peter Wright producing a tremendous performance of darts which included 17x 180s, 10 legs won in 12 darts or less and a match average of 111.17. His double success percentage of 47% was his highest of the tournament so far.

Wade came through a very tight tussle against Gary Anderson in his semi-final. Wade got over the line 16-14 despite having a much lower match average, the timing of key darts from Wade throughout the contest proved to be pivotal.

Head to Head (van Gerwen leads 23-14)

Van Gerwen has the overall lead in their previous meetings and has won each of their last 5 encounters, the most recent of which was only 3 weeks ago in the semi-finals at the European Championships. Wade has beaten van Gerwen 3 times this year however, those wins coming in the Premier League, the European Matchplay and the Auckland Masters where Wade won 10-6 in a match where both he and van Gerwen averaged 107.

Verdict

Michael van Gerwen starts as a big favourite for this match and as he proved in his win over Wright in the semi-finals that when he is pushed he can move to an extra level. His power scoring has been way above what Wade has produced during the tournament and the pressure on Wade to hold his throw will be so much greater than it has been previously. One key stat to note is that van Gerwen has won 18 legs in 12 darts or less during the tournament whilst Wade has yet to win a leg in 12 darts or less. In terms of 180 hitting van Gerwen has managed a total of 27 more 180s during his matches than Wade has, the 17 hit by MvG in his win over Wright is a higher total than Wade has hit in all his matches combined.

Wade has had some wins over van Gerwen on the TV stage in 2016 but they were over a shorter format and not in a match with the prestige that this final holds. I just think van Gerwen will really turn it on when it matters and will outscore Wade, I’m predicting a score of around 16-9/16-10 to van Gerwen.

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