We are at the Semi Final stage of the PDC World Championships!
It's Semi Final Sunday! How did that happen? Due to the seemingly insatiable appetite for items from the Darts Performance Centre shop the World Championships have flown by and I have struggled to keep up with keeping our customers happy and commenting on areas of interest from a performance point of view at the Ally Pally!
The tournament has been amazing, I have been able to see enough to know that. The standard has been immense. However, as it is getting to the time of year the deluded darts fans raise their heads over the Lakeside parapet claiming the gulf between the two codes is enormous, do remember that it is really only the very small elite group that are way ahead of the rest. The rest includes all the rest of the PDC and the BDO.
If you look back to the last 16 games for example there were a lot of one sided games involving the top PDC players -MVG thrashed Webster, Wright did the same to White and Taylor beat Huybrechts 4:2 as did Anderson over Benito van de Pas. So yes the standard is amazing from the top 4 or 6 say but after that it starts to level out fairly rapidly.
The other issue with such a differential in class is that tournaments can be predictable. Our first blog was titled - Who Will Be Runner Up? 3 out of the 4 semi-finalists would have been called by most arm chair fans and pundits and only Barney coming in off the rails with some magnificent darts and dextrous board handling is the only "surprise".
What we have got though is two fantastic matches involving four fantastic players - such a shame it clashes with Sherlock! But let's see if we can make a case for two to be involved in the final tomorrow:
Gary Anderson (1/2) v Peter Wright (21/11)
Anderson's tournament average is 104.38 and 34 - 180's but Wright's outshot % is over 50% and if he can maintain that it may be enough to get him through. Anderson has played far better than his form coming in to the tournament and this is going to be a close one.
For some fun whilst watching how about Sky's offer of over 37.5 legs, highest checkout 141 or above and 25 or over 180/s at 5/2
MVG (1/6) v Raymond van Barneveld (11/2)
The bookies don't give Barney much of a hope. They reckon 6/1 or 6/2 is the most likely defeat for Raymond and maybe it's the 96 odd average that was sufficient to beat Taylor but surely will not be enough to stop the Green Machine.
So how about MVG -2.5 sets -2.5 on the 180's handicap and MVG to hit an outshot of 132 or over. 9/4 with SkyBet.