The second round of the World Matchplay gets underway tonight and fans will have to brace themselves for some more of the most exciting arrow-chucking action around.
The players in Blackpool haven’t failed to deliver and we’ve been treated to some of the best tungsten-tossing the Winter Gardens has ever seen.
Last week we tipped Phil Taylor to go all the way and make it Matchplay title number 13 and we’re sticking with it even though he’s now 10/11. Taylor didn’t have it all his own way against Mervyn King who performed like the King of old against the Power. But you can’t argue with a three-dart average of 103 and you’d expect to see Taylor in the final once again.
Adrian Lewis laid down a marker when he beat the UK Open champion Rob Thornton without dropping a leg. The double World Champion was the only other player to average over 100 and nailed five maximums on his way to a 10-0 win. It certainly was a statement of intent and Lewis is now 5/1 to lift the trophy.
Dean Winstanley hit arguably the shot of the tournament to stay in his opening round game against Gary Anderson before going on to win in sudden death. He’s shown he’s got the nerve and the quality to rough it with the best of them on stage and he’s one to look out for.
He’s in the quarter with Wes Newton though and we fancy the Warrior to get through to the semi-final at 9/5. He took out 105 and averaged 98 to see off the youngster James Hubbard and could well meet the Power in the semi-final.
In the bottom half of the draw Michael Van Gerwen showed the quality he possesses by dismantling world number six Simon Whitlock. Mighty Mike has an annoying habit of blowing hot or cold on stage but when he’s on form he’s almost unstoppable. He has a potential quarter-final with James Wade and then a semi-final with either Lewis or Barney in store but he might be worth an optimistic punt.
He’s 3/1 to make the semi-final, 14/1 to be in the final or a massive 30/1 to win the tournament. If he keeps up the form he showed against Whitlock it would be no surprise if the 2012 Young Player of the Year made the final day of competition.
If the final checkout of any of the matches is 100+ Paddy Power will refund in-running losing bets on that match!