The most exciting World Championship in recent years is drawing to a close, with the semi finals tonight. All four are former world champions, and there’s no Michael Van Gerwen or Phil Taylor, the first time since 2012 that’s happened. There’s been some classic matches – but who will make the final?
Raymond Van Barneveld vs Adrian Lewis
It’s been a bit of a fairytale for Raymond Van Barneveld so far. All of his matches bar the opening round have gone to a final set, he’s come from behind in all of them. Most impressively, they’ve all been against former world champions. First Stephen Bunting, then MVG, and yesterday against World Youth Champion Michael Smith. He just does not know when to give up, a difference from the Barney of old. He can’t afford to let his opponent tonight get a lead.
Adrian Lewis has breezed through this tournament so far, dropping just two sets. His scoring has been consistently high, often giving him comfortable leads in a leg. He averaged 102 in his quarter final, a repeat of that will leave Barneveld on the ropes. Barney beat Lewis last year, despite a 9 darter from the Stoke thrower
I really don’t know how to predict either semi final. Certainly, this one will have over 22.5 180’s . Lewis’ own handicap of 12.5 maximum’s should be blown away . It would not surprise me for this to be another long one – over 9.5 sets is . In terms of match betting, I’m tipping Lewis to come out on top in a thriller
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Gary Anderson vs Jelle Klaasen
This is going to be a fantastic game of darts. The World Champion has looked confident in reaching his third World Championship semi final, apart from a shaky opening against Daryl Gurney. He demolished James Wade in the quarter finals, with a 105 average. He wired double 12 for a nine-dart finish, but it all could have been oh so different for the Scot
Jelle Klaasen, like countryman Van Barneveld, has been a comeback king, turning deficits around against Mervyn King, Phil Taylor and then again against Alan Norris yesterday, winning five of the last six legs to come from 4-3 down to win 5-4. He’s said he can do better, he’ll have to against Anderson.
These two met in the second round last year, and after leading 3-1, Klaasen had set himself up on 49 to knock out Anderson. The Scot hit bull to save himself, and went on to win the tournament. So Anderson knows he can’t under-estimate the Cobra
Again, the total 180’s handicap should be taken – over 25.5 at . This is the game I’m predicting a 9 dart finish at . Over 8.5 sets is another one to think about at . This is too close to call a winner though, if Klaasen finds his range early, he has a chance.
Sit back and enjoy the exhibition of darts!