The big seeds have been falling all week in the World Grand Prix and the tournament has been blown wide open.
Phil Taylor, Raymond Van Barneveld, Gary Anderson, James Wade and Simon Whitlock have all been knocked out and we haven’t even reached the quarter-finals yet.
With seven of the top ten seeds already eliminated Sky Sports very own Dave Clark is here to give the Paddy Power Blog his hottest tips ahead of the second round.
Steve Beaton looked in great nick when he hammered three-time quarter finalist Andy Smith in the first round. The Bronze Adonis had an average of 94.49 which at the time was the fourth-highest three dart average in the competition. When you look at the average you add ten on for the double start, so it’s about a 104 average which is great form for Beaton.
The Bronze Adonis is in great nick but I’ve got to say I fancied Andy Hamilton to go all the way before the competition started and I have to stick with my man. The Hammer came through 2-0 against Mark Webster but only averaged 84.92 and his doubling wasn’t brilliant. We’ll see a lot more from a gritty, determined Hamilton tonight. He realises in this half of the draw all he has to do is play somewhere near his best and he will make it to the final.
There are arguments for Steve Beaton but Hamilton will nick a tight one around the 3-2 mark.
Osbourne hasn’t been able to buy a win on the circuit. Who was the Prime Minister last time Osbourne won on TV? That’s how far you have to think back.
It was sad to see James Wade collapse, he has some health issues and he’s a shadow of his former self. Osbourne was on his way home until Wadey fell apart and Colin managed to string together six legs on the spin. Osbourne was gifted the place in this round.
Michael Mansell got his preparation all wrong for the game with Nicholson and only averaged 64. I spoke to Nicholson afterwards and he was happy with his performance and didn’t take it for granted that he had won. He was on the practice board for a long time yesterday and I like the cut of his jib at the moment.
Nicholson will win this one quite comfortably because Ozzy just can’t buy a win at the moment. It will be 3-1 to Nicholson.
This is going to be spectacular. If you’re at home book your place on the sofa for around 9.00pm tonight because Adrian Lewis and Michael Van Gerwen are forces of nature. The two most naturally gifted payers in the world game come together and it will be absolutely electric. These two have never met on television before and I can’t wait.
Van Gerwen burst onto the scene when he was 15 and everyone said he was a world champion in the making so there was a lot of pressure on him every time he played. I spoke to him yesterday and he said ‘I’m not a boy anymore, I’m a man. And I’m the man to beat Adrian Lewis’. Those are the words of Mighty Mike and I believed him.
His form is good and he played well here at the weekend winning a Players Championship. He played well at the Matchplay and got that televised nine-darter as well. The 180’s will be smashed in for fun tonight.
Van Gerwen will nick this in a tight one. Lewis averaged 79.73 in the first round which is atrocious by his standards. He’s got married recently and hasn’t been doing much practise. He’s been on the road a lot and drove to Germany which is doing nothing for his energy levels. Michael Van Gerwen will take advantage and knock out the two-time world champ.
You look at the head-to-head and Newton leads White 3-1. But White is not the player that played Newton last time, he’s much improved and full of confidence. He beat Barney and is in good form but just look at Wes Newton. His form line is brilliant and he’s in tremendous nick. Newton will think he has a genuine chance of winning this major title.
He was a European finalist and showed great form in round one to fight back from a set down and two legs down to Ronnie Baxter. That will give him plenty of confidence. He has an entourage of fans over in Dublin, his brother is here and the rest of his family is over to support him. When the seeds are tumbling you know you’ll get everything off Wes Newton. As a punter I like him and Wes Newton will win this one. The six seed will be going through to the quarter finals after a close game.