We are at the point in the World Grand Prix, where we will discover our semi-final line up for Friday and it could be an absolute cracker.
Tonight’s action will be available to all Sky TV customers on their free sports channel Sky Sports Mix and in addition to this the same channel will screen the final on Saturday also.
Order of play
Robert Thornton vs Daryl Gurney – Players tied on 3-3 (Gurney has won all of the last three inclusive of his last 32 win at the last World Championship)
John Henderson vs Raymond van Barneveld – No previous meetings
Benito van de Pas vs Simon Whitlock – van de Pas leads 3-2 (van de Pas won last three)
Mensur Suljovic vs Peter Wright – Wright leads 6-3
Robert Thornton vs Daryl Gurney
Thornton – 23/10 Boylesports; Gurney – 4/9 Betfair
Despite some jerky darts in his win versus Dave Chisnall, Robert Thornton is capitalising on his free meal ticket in the competition seeing Phil Taylor made way for his inclusion.
Thornton’s game against Chisnall could have gone either way at times. Daryl Gurney played a great spirited game against Joe Cullen in what was a well-paced game which saw Superchin win 3-1 in a deserving battle.
Gurney was superb on his finishing doubles against Cullen ending up with a 75% conversion, which is beyond expectations of any player for this level of accuracy.
Thornton headed a respectable 34.29% on the checkouts and relied on his third dart as his most effective.
The game will be another best of five encounter with the young Irish star odds on to win the game either 3-0 or 3-1. Thornton is evens to win the game by any method and covers a 3-2 loss if this is the bet you are looking for.
There was grave expectations in the Gurney game to see maximums and even discussed this game on my off air darts elite forum chat.
When approached on the subject, we saw just four in the process with the line twice this. Thornton’s game saw the Scot pocket nine, also upsetting many Chisnall 180 backers. With the line set at 8.5 the assumption would be that we need to see more than a straight sets win to consider this and with a fair contribution from both. The pair both play reactively, which is a factor to support the over line on this case.
Thornton can show his disappointment visually when darts go astray and guaranteed the crowd will be PRO Gurney on this game.
John Henderson Vs Raymond van Barneveld
Henderson – 7/2 Sportingbet; Barney – 2/7 Bet365
There is no data to suggest the pair have ever met having both been in the game for several years. Henderson is newer to the PDC code, but has been around for a while and is a credible top 32 player.
Henderson’s fairy tale adventure continues with credibility as expectations of beating van Gerwen in the round took the pressure off him and that was the case for Alan Norris in that he was expected to win the game. The Highlander punished Norris on several occasions
The game between van Barneveld and Beaton was not quite the classic we might have expected as Beaton said himself he had a bad day at the office.
Beaton suffered a host of key misses which handed Barney a 3-0. Barney pre-game was 4/5 to win his quarter, and on the basis of his match odds would have gone in no better than 2/5 to beat Alan Norris had he won his game. Barney is 2/7, so punters could cash in marginally here on a trade-off.
There was little activity on the maximums in the Barney game seeing just the one and the Scotsman is BIG at 21/10 with Coral to hit the most 180s in the game which may appeal to some.
Benito van de Pas vs Simon Whitlock
Whitlock – 19/20 Betfair; van de Pas 23/20 Boylesports
Benito and Simon Whitlock meet in what should be a tightly contested game where van de Pas made light work of Gerwyn Price in his second round disposing of the Welshman 3-0.
Whitlock similarly easily beat North in a one sided encounter, with Richard North putting up some resistance, but was not enough to trouble the Aussie.
Both players had impressive checkout percentages with Benito hitting a 64.29% conversion compared to Simon’s 52.94%. Overall Pas has converted 53.33 with Whitlock’s 48.57%.
Punters will be keen to consider the Aussie to hit the most maximums in the tie, knowing the angle of throw Big Ben often throws. Whitlock has eight compared to van de Pas’ three making this market a potential target.
Over the format of best of will emulate the format in the previous round. Whitlock is 4/7 for most 180s which appeals. The -1.5 Handicap also will raise some eyebrows on the basis van de Pas often switches to 19s and at 10/11 is a fair price.
Mensur Suljovic vs Peter Wright
Wright – 7/12 Marathonbet; Suljovic – 15/8 Betfair
The Austrian made light work of Steve West in their encounter taking a straight sets victory. Suljovic took out some excellent scoring including a 140 finish on double top twice. The look on West’s face said it all when this landed and he new it was not his day, but put up a valiant fight despite the scoreline.
Playing Suljovic is no easy task in respect of playing his pace. Suljovic’s opponent Peter Wright will endure a task of dealing with Mensur Mania and the apparent niggle Wright seem to have against King towards his elbow is nothing serious.
This game could go some distance so Paddy Power are 8/11 for over 15.5 legs which I expect to see at least four sets in the game. This is a fair price on the basis the game will last anywhere between 9-25 legs!
Whitlock -1.5 180 Handicap 10/11Coral and Ladbrokes 1.5 Pts
Over 15.5 legs (Wright/Suljovic) 8/11Paddy Power 1pt
1st leg 180 NO – Whitlock and Barney games – 2.07 Betway 2pt double