Adrian Lewis ends 14-month ranking title drought with victory in Players Championship 5 at Arena MK

By Alex Moss
1 APRIL 2017 • 9:52PM

Adrian Lewis clinched his first PDC ranking title in more than a year as he beat Dave Chisnall 6-2 to win Players Championship 5 at Arena MK in Milton Keynes today.

The two-time world champion fired in a 164 checkout as he stormed into a 3-0 lead, before Chisnall hit back with a 122 checkout to close the gap.

With a 5-2 lead and throwing for the title, Lewis kicked off with eight perfect darts before missing double 12 to win the tournament in style.

The world number four eventually wrapped up the title on double one to secure the £10,000 top prize and his first ranking title since February of 2016.

Lewis’ best performance of the day came in a stunning 6-5 victory over Michael van Gerwen in the semi-finals, a game which saw an incredible 13 180s and another miss at double 12 for a nine darter – this time from van Gerwen.

The Stoke ace began the day with a narrow 6-5 win over Benito van de Pas, before beating Andy Hamilton and Justin Pipe to reach the last 16.

A 6-3 victory over Peter Jacques followed, before another last-leg success, this time over Richard North – who was enjoying one of his best runs on the PDC Pro Tour – put Lewis through to the semi-finals.

Chisnall’s run to the final – his first of 2017 – saw him narrowly edge past Ritchie Edhouse 6-5 in the opening round, before getting the better of Andy Jenkins and John Henderson to advance to the last 16.

There he defeated Mickey Mansell before whitewashing Mark Webster to reach the semi-finals.

A dominant 6-3 victory over Alan Norris meant Chisnall booked his place in his first final of the season, where he was beaten by Lewis.

It was another strong run for world number one van Gerwen on the floor, but his wait for a first Players Championship title in 2017 goes on, having now lost out in the semi-final stage on two occasions.

Norris’ good form continued, with the Players Championship 1 winner, who also made the last four at the Coral UK Open, reaching the semi-finals in Milton Keynes.

The PDC Pro Tour continues on Sunday, with another £75,000 prize fund up for grabs as Players Championship 6 gets underway at Arena MK.

Players Championship 5
Saturday April 1, Arena MK, Milton Keynes
First Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Sven Groen
Vincent van der Voort 6-2 Haruki Muramatsu
Brendan Dolan 6-3 Jamie Caven
Simon Stevenson 6-1 Craig Gilchrist
Cristo Reyes 6-1 Darron Brown
Mick Todd 6-4 Martin Schindler
Steve Hine 6-1 Steve West
Aden Kirk 6-4 Ryan Palmer
Ian White 6-5 Ryan Searle
Matthew Dennant 6-1 Dennis Smith
Robbie Green 6-3 Richie Corner
Jamie Bain 6-4 Berry van Peer
Kim Huybrechts 6-5 Kirk Shepherd
Rob Cross 6-2 Lee Bryant
Christian Kist 6-2 Paul Harvey
Scott Taylor 6-4 Jamie Lewis
Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Simon Whitlock
Richard North 6-3 Harry Robinson
Josh Payne 6-2 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Jimmy Hendriks 6-4 Mick McGowan
Shaun Griffiths 6-5 Michael Smith
Dimitri van den Bergh 6-4 Jonny Clayton
Kyle Anderson 6-5 Warrick Scheffer
Kevin Painter 6-5 Stephen Burton
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Benito van de Pas
Andy Hamilton 6-4 Terry Roach
Justin Pipe 6-2 Maik Langendorf
Joe Murnan 6-1 Ross Twell
Gary Anderson 6-1 Ray Campbell
Peter Hudson 6-4 Max Hopp
Daryl Gurney 6-2 Mark Barilli
Peter Jacques 6-1 Paul Nicholson
Peter Wright 6-1 Mike De Decker
Wayne Jones 6-3 Diogo Portela
Steve Lennon 6-5 Raymond van Barneveld
Terry Temple 6-1 Paul Rowley
Stephen Bunting 6-2 Simon Preston
John Bowles 6-2 Devon Petersen
Steve Beaton 6-2 Zoran Lerchbacher
John Part 6-4 Ricky Williams
Alan Norris 6-5 Rowby-John Rodriguez
Ronnie Baxter 6-5 Ted Evetts
Ronny Huybrechts 6-3 Chris Quantock
Adam Hunt 6-5 Darren Johnson
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Madars Razma
Yordi Meeuwisse 6-3 Tony Newell
Chris Dobey 6-3 James Richardson
Ricky Evans 6-2 Colin Roelofs
Dave Chisnall 6-5 Ritchie Edhouse
Andy Jenkins 6-1 Jim Brown
Darren Webster 6-2 William O’Connor
John Henderson 6-5 Jeffrey de Graaf
Richie Burnett 6-0 Jelle Klaasen
Keegan Brown 6-2 Ryan Meikle
James Wilson 6-3 Ron Meulenkamp
Mickey Mansell 6-1 David Pallett
Jan Dekker 6-3 Mensur Suljovic
Jonathan Worsley 6-1 Brian Woods
Robert Thornton 6-4 Prakash Jiwa
Mark Webster 6-2 Robert Owen
Andrew Gilding 6-5 Joe Cullen
Vincent Kamphuis 6-5 Andy Boulton
Wes Newton 6-3 Mervyn King
Matt Clark 6-5 Antonio Alcinas

Second Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Vincent van der Voort
Simon Stevenson 6-2 Brendan Dolan
Cristo Reyes 6-3 Mick Todd
Steve Hine 6-4 Aden Kirk
Ian White 6-2 Matthew Dennant
Jamie Bain 6-1 Robbie Green
Rob Cross 6-4 Kim Huybrechts
Scott Taylor 6-0 Christian Kist
Richard North 6-4 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Jimmy Hendriks 6-3 Josh Payne
Dimtiri van den Bergh 6-1 Shaun Griffiths
Kyle Anderson 6-5 Kevin Painter
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Andy Hamilton
Justin Pipe 6-3 Joe Murnan
Peter Hudson 6-3 Gary Anderson
Peter Jacques 6-3 Daryl Gurney
Peter Wright 6-1 Wayne Jones
Steve Lennon 6-3 Terry Temple
Stephen Bunting 6-1 John Bowles
Steve Beaton 6-0 John Part
Alan Norris 6-1 Ronnie Baxter
Adam Hunt 6-2 Ronny Huybrechts
Gerwyn Price 6-5 Yordi Meeuwisse
Ricky Evans 6-4 Chris Dobey
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Andy Jenkins
John Henderson 6-1 Darren Webster
Keegan Brown 6-5 Richie Burnett
Mickey Mansell 6-4 James Wilson
Jan Dekker 6-0 Jonathan Worsley
Mark Webster 6-1 Robert Thornton
Andrew Gilding 6-2 Vincent Kamphuis
Matt Clark 6-3 Wes Newton

Third Round
Michael van Gerwen 6-3 Simon Stevenson
Cristo Reyes 6-5 Steve Hine
Ian White 6-5 Jamie Bain
Rob Cross 6-2 Scott Taylor
Richard North 6-1 Jimmy Hendriks
Dimitri van den Bergh 6-4 Kyle Anderson
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Justin Pipe
Peter Jacques 6-5 Peter Hudson
Peter Wright 6-2 Steve Lennon
Steve Beaton 6-5 Stephen Bunting
Alan Norris 6-2 Adam Hunt
Gerwyn Price 6-2 Ricky Evans
Dave Chisnall 6-3 John Henderson
Mickey Mansell 6-2 Keegan Brown
Mark Webster 6-2 Jan Dekker
Matt Clark 6-1 Andrew Gilding

Last 16
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Cristo Reyes
Ian White 6-3 Rob Cross
Richard North 6-4 Dimitri van den Bergh
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Peter Jacques
Steve Beaton 6-4 Peter Wright
Alan Norris 6-2 Gerwyn Price
Dave Chisnall 6-2 Mickey Mansell
Mark Webster 6-2 Matt Clark

Quarter-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 6-1 Ian White
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Richard North
Alan Norris 6-5 Steve Beaton
Dave Chisnall 6-0 Mark Webster

Semi-Finals
Adrian Lewis 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
Dave Chisnall 6-3 Alan Norris

Final
Adrian Lewis 6-3 Dave Chisnall

Raymond van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis head list of German Darts Masters UK Qualifiers

By Alex Moss
31 MARCH 2017 • 11:06PM

Former PDC world champions Raymond van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis were among the 18 UK Qualifiers for next month’s HappyBet German Darts Masters this evening.

World number four Lewis secured his spot in the European Tour event in Jena by defeating Adrian Gray and Scott Taylor at Arena MK in Milton Keynes.

Five-time world champion van Barneveld overcame Luke Woodhouse and then edged past in-form Darren Johnson 6-5 as he clinched his spot in the £135,000 streamed tournament.

Former European Tour winner Mervyn King dropped just three legs in his victories over Andy Boulton and Mark Barilli, while another former European Tour champion, Robert Thornton, whitewashed Paul Rowley and then saw off former World Youth champion Keegan Brown to progress through the qualifier.

Justin Pipe, the 2012 Austrian Darts Open champion, edged out Richie Burnett and Warrick Scheffer to book his spot in Jena, while Ronnie Baxter battled past former European Tour winner Steve Beaton 6-5 in their decider to win through.

Former BDO world champion Mark Webster qualified at the expense of William O’Connor and Paul Nicholson, Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney got the better of Lee Bryant and James Richardson to move into the main event, but his fellow countryman Mickey Mansell was beaten by Australia’s Kyle Anderson in their decider.

Welsh trio Jamie Lewis, Jonny Clayton and Robert Owen joined Webster in qualifying, alongside English throwers Robbie Green, Brian Woods, Andrew Gilding, Joe Murnan, Ricky Evans and Ted Evetts.

The UK Qualifier kicked-off the PDC Pro Tour weekend at Arena MK in Milton Keynes, with Players Championship 5 and 6 being held at the venue on Saturday and Sunday.

Both events will be streamed live with coverage from two boards simultaneously for PDCTV-HD subscribers worldwide via http://www.livepdc.tv, as well as through a series of bookmakers’ websites.

HappyBet German Darts Masters
UK Qualifier
Friday March 31, Arena MK, Milton Keynes
Preliminary Round
Darron Brown 6-2 Michael Barnard
James Richardson 6-3 Matthew Dennant
Brian Woods 6-4 Jim Brown
John Bowles 6-3 Peter Jacques
Mickey Mansell 6-2 Martin Lukeman
Jamie Bain 6-2 Andy Jenkins
Warrick Scheffer 6-5 Simon Preston
Terry Temple 6-5 Stephen Burton
Simon Stevenson 6-3 Ryan Searle
Peter Hudson 6-4 Paul Harvey
Andrew Gilding 6-5 Matt Clark
Darren Johnson 6-2 Adam Hunt
Steve Hine 6-5 Ritchie Edhouse
Jim Walker 6-3 Craig Gilchrist
Paul Nicholson 6-3 Ross Twell
John Part 6-1 Ray Campbell
Devon Petersen 6-5 Chris Quantock
Mick McGowan 6-2 Ricky Williams
Joe Murnan 6-2 Harry Robinson

First Round
Steve Beaton 6-1 Dennis Smith
Ronnie Baxter 6-1 Darron Brown
Daryl Gurney 6-3 Lee Bryant
James Richardson 6-2 Mick Todd
Tony Newell 6-2 Chris Dobey
Brian Woods 6-1 Ryan Palmer
Andy Hamilton 6-3 James Wilson
Robert Owen 6-3 John Bowles
Kyle Anderson 6-2 Steve Lennon
Mickey Mansell 6-3 Richard North
Mervyn King 6-2 Andy Boulton
Mark Barilli 6-5 Jamie Bain
Justin Pipe 6-5 Richie Burnett
Warrick Scheffer 6-4 Brendan Dolan
Robbie Green 6-4 Ryan Meikle
Jonathan Worsley 6-2 Terry Temple
Robert Thornton 6-0 Paul Rowley
Keegan Brown 6-1 Simon Stevenson
Darren Webster 6-0 Wes Newton
Ted Evetts 6-3 Peter Hudson
Josh Payne 6-2 Callum Loose
Andrew Gilding 6-3 David Pallett
Raymond van Barneveld 6-1 Luke Woodhouse
Darren Johnson 6-3 Aden Kirk
Jamie Lewis 6-4 Jamie Caven
Rob Cross 6-4 Steve Hine
John Henderson 6-2 Terry Roach
Ricky Evans 6-1 Jim Walker
Mark Webster 6-3 William O’Connor
Paul Nicholson 6-4 Wayne Jones
Adrian Lewis 6-2 Adrian Grey
Scott Taylor 6-2 John Part
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Kirk Shepherd
Devon Peterson 6-3 John Norman Jnr
Richie Corner 6-5 Kevin Painter
Joe Murnan 6-1 Mick McGowan

Final Round
Ronnie Baxter 6-5 Steve Beaton
Daryl Gurney 6-2 James Richardson
Brian Woods 6-5 Tony Newell
Robert Owen 6-5 Andy Hamilton
Kyle Anderson 6-1 Mickey Mansell
Mervyn King 6-1 Mark Barilli
Justin Pipe 6-3 Warrick Scheffer
Robbie Green 6-1 Jonathan Worsley
Robert Thornton 6-4 Keegan Brown
Ted Evetts 6-4 Darren Webster
Andrew Gilding 6-2 Josh Payne
Raymond van Barneveld 6-5 Darren Johnson
Jamie Lewis 6-3 Rob Cross
Ricky Evans 6-5 John Henderson
Mark Webster 6-3 Paul Nicholson
Adrian Lewis 6-1 Scott Taylor
Jonny Clayton 6-3 Devon Peterson
Joe Murnan 6-1 Richie Corner

OPINION – Players complaining about PDC’s rules on the Premier League should look at the bigger picture

By Alex Moss
31 MARCH 2017 • 1:47PM

The race for the play-offs in this year’s Betway Premier League is shaping up to be the closest in a number of years, and that was clear to see from some of the players in Cardiff last night.

Ahead of last night’s action at the Motorpoint Arena, the evening’s schedule was cut from five matches to four, as Kim Huybrechts withdrew from his fixture with Peter Wright due to family reasons.

With Huybrechts set to be eliminated, along with Jelle Klaasen, from the tournament following last night’s fixtures, Wright was awarded a 7-0 win, in accordance with the PDC’s rules.

It is a rule which certainly irked with a few of the players who did play last night. Could the PDC have waited a few weeks and got Huybrechts to come back to fulfill his final fixture?

That appears to be what those players may have wanted to happen, but, in truth, this is a situation which has never arisen before. A player, who can no longer avoid elimination, withdrawing from the one fixture he had left to play.

Another option would have been for all of the results involving Huybrechts in the tournament to be expunged from the record books. Another suggestion on social media was for Wright to play a challenge match against a player not in the competition and the result to go towards his record instead.

Wright was a big favourite to beat Huybrechts in their scheduled match at Cardiff last night and many would have expected him to pick up two points if the fixture was played.

What the players seem to be annoyed about was the ruling which gave Wright a 7-0 win in the fixture. Given that there has only been half a dozen or so whitewashes in the history of the Premier League, it would have been a big ask for Wright to replicate that one-sided scoreline if the match was played.

The plus seven legs difference Wright accrued from this outcome could be a deciding factor come the end of the season, as places in the play-offs could come down to legs difference.

But has Wright really been given a big advantage? We now enter the second league phase of the Premier League next week and each player still has seven fixtures and 14 points to play for.

The four players who end up finishing in the top four will have all deserved to be there. The Premier League is the longest tournament on the calendar, played over 15 weeks before the finals night at The O2, so players complaining about the PDC’s ruling yesterday should look at the bigger picture.

If the shoe was on the other foot, and one of the players who complained had been awarded the 7-0 win, would they have had the same reaction last night? It is very doubtful.

Premier League fixtures for the rest of the 2017 season are released

By Alex Moss
31 MARCH 2017 • 12:43PM

The fixtures for the remaining six league nights of this year’s Betway Premier League have been confirmed this afternoon.

Following the elimination of Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts last night, the remaining eight players now set their sights on winning play-off spots.

Next week at the 3Arena in Dublin will see James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld compete twice, as they face each other after earlier taking on Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor respectively.

The other two fixtures in Dublin will see Dave Chisnall face Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis meet Gary Anderson, the latter in a quick repeat of last night’s clash in Cardiff.

Week 11 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool will see UK Open champion Wright face off against the world’s top two ranked players, van Gerwen and Anderson.

The other fixtures on the night will see Anderson meet Chisnall, Lewis play van Barneveld and Taylor and Wade face off.

Week 12 at The SSE Arena in Belfast sees Chisnall and Taylor clash as they double up, with the former earlier taking on Lewis and the 16-time world champion meeting Anderson.

Wright will take on Wade, while the Dutch duo of van Gerwen and van Barneveld will meet in the other Belfast clash, with the reigning Premier League champion aiming to avenge his defeat in Manchester earlier this month.

The return to Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena on April 27 sees van Gerwen and Lewis compete twice on the night, facing each other in the final game after earlier taking on Wade and Chisnall respectively.

Taylor takes on Wright and Anderson goes up against van Barneveld in the night’s other two games.

The final two league nights will each feature four games as the tournament returns to The Sheffield Arena and The GE Oil & Gas Arena in Aberdeen.

The visit to Sheffield includes the meeting between rivals van Gerwen and Taylor, as well as clashes between Wright and Lewis, van Barneveld and Chisnall and Wade and Anderson.

The final league night in Aberdeen features the rematch of the recent PDC World Championship final between van Gerwen and Anderson, while Wright faces van Barneveld, Taylor and Lewis clash and Chisnall plays Wade.

Following the final league night in Aberdeen, the top four players in the league table will qualify to compete in the play-offs at The O2 in London on May 18.

Betway Premier League
Night Ten – Thursday April 6
3Arena, Dublin
James Wade v Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld v Phil Taylor
Dave Chisnall v Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson
James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
Tickets: 0818 719 3000 (Ire) or 0844 8472 455 (UK) or via Ticketmaster

Night 11 – Thursday April 13
Echo Arena, Liverpool
Gary Anderson v Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor v James Wade
Peter Wright v Gary Anderson
Tickets: 0844 8000 400 or via http://www.echoarena.co.uk

Night 12 – Thursday April 20
The SSE Arena, Belfast
Dave Chisnall v Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson
Peter Wright v James Wade
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld
Dave Chisnall v Phil Taylor
Tickets: 028 9073 9074 or 0844 277 4455 or via http://www.ssearenabelfast.com

Night 13 – Thursday April 27
Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
James Wade v Adrian Lewis
Dave Chisnall v Michael van Gerwen
Phil Taylor v Peter Wright
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis v Michael van Gerwen
Tickets: 0844 338 8000 or via http://www.theticketfactory.com

Night 14 – Thursday May 4
The Sheffield Arena
Peter Wright v Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld v Dave Chisnall
James Wade v Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen v Phil Taylor
Tickets: 0114 256 5656 or via http://www.sheffieldarena.co.uk

Night 15 – Thursday May 11
GE Oil & Gas Arena, Aberdeen
Dave Chisnall v James Wade
Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis
Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson
Tickets: Sold Out

Play-Offs – Thursday May 18
The O2, London
Semi-Finals
Final
Tickets: 0844 856 0202 or via http://www.axs.com

Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson both feeling confident ahead of Premier League tussle in Cardiff

By Alex Moss
29 MARCH 2017 • 10:25PM

Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson will both be aiming to steal a march on each other when they do battle in the Betway Premier League tomorrow evening.

The duo have met in two previous PDC World Championship finals at Alexandra Palace, but their next meeting, at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, will have Premier League points on the line this time round.

Both players are locked together on nine points after eight games each, with Anderson just ahead of his rival in the table by virtue of a superior legs difference.

Lewis is looking to extend his three-game winning streak in the competition when he takes on the world number two tomorrow night.

“It’s not going too bad, points-wise,” said Lewis. “I know I’m coming into form and I’m practising hard.

“I just go up there and try my best, and at the moment the results are coming even if I’m not at my best.

“I’ve had three wins on the trot and I want to keep that going now.”

DARTS
Gary Anderson can boost his Betway Premier League play-off hopes with a victory over Adrian Lewis in Cardiff tomorrow night CREDIT: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

Lewis prevailed 7-5 when the two met in the 2011 PDC World Championship final, while Anderson reversed the scoreline in his favour in the second world final decider between the pair in 2015, and the Scot is predicting another entertaining contest in Cardiff.

“The games usually get built up but Adrian’s back playing how we know he can,” said Anderson.

“He’s a good friend of mine and he has me in stitches all the time, laughing about things, but we’ll go up there and the best man will win on the night.

“I’ve had lots of draws and games I could have won. I’m trying to get more time on the practice board and I’m going to put the work in.”

Betway Premier League
Week Nine – Thursday March 30
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Peter Wright v Kim Huybrechts
Phil Taylor v Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade
Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
(all matches are the best of 12 legs)

Phil Taylor not putting any pressure on himself ahead of clash with Jelle Klaasen in the Premier League

By Alex Moss
29 MARCH 2017 • 9:16PM

Phil Taylor says the pressure will be off both him and Jelle Klaasen when the two face off in the Betway Premier League tomorrow night.

Klaasen, along with Kim Huybrechts, can no longer avoid being eliminated from the tournament heading into ‘Judgement Night’ at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff tomorrow.

Both Klaasen and Huybrechts will exit the Premier League after tomorrow night’s fixtures, leaving the eight remaining players to battle it out for the top four and places in the end of season play-offs.

“Jelle will be dangerous because he’ll want to finish on a high and there’s no pressure on him – but it’s the same feeling for me too,” said the 16-time world champion Taylor, who plans to retire from competitive darts at the end of this season.

“I’m enjoying it now and I’m not going to put myself under pressure. I’ve had 30 years of being under pressure week-in and week-out, and I’ve earned the right to enjoy myself a bit, but I’m going to keep pushing to get into the top four.”

Taylor joined Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis on nine points in the table after defeating then table-topper Peter Wright 7-5 in Manchester last week.

Klaasen’s 7-5 defeat to Lewis last week means he can no longer catch Dave Chisnall who, in eighth place and on six points, is three points clear of both the Dutchman and Huybrechts heading into tomorrow’s action.

Huybrechts takes on Wright in Cardiff tomorrow night, with the Belgian bidding to claim his first victory of the campaign, which would ensure he does not take the unwanted record as the first player to register no wins in a Premier League season.

Betway Premier League
Week Nine – Thursday March 30
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Peter Wright v Kim Huybrechts
Phil Taylor v Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade
Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
(all matches are the best of 12 legs)

Would a return to group stage format make the World Cup less predictable?

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It was the PDC’s turn to hog the darts television space at the weekend, as England’s Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis won the World Cup for the fourth time, beating Dutch pair Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld in Sunday’s final. Continue reading “Would a return to group stage format make the World Cup less predictable?”