Justin Pipe to hit the most 180s and lose the match v Mensur Suljovic – 13/10
If you’re a fan of snail racing, then you’ll love the contest between Mensur Suljovic and Justin Pipe that opens the second round at the World Matchplay tonight as it features two of the game’s slowest players.
Pipe, who seems to take longer between darts than Novak Djokovic takes to serve, enjoyed a surprise victory over an out-of-sorts Jelle Klaasen in round one and battered in six 180s along the way. While Suljovic, who in the midst of a career upsurge, easily took out John Henderson.
We reckon Pipe can trouble the ‘red bit’ more later, but you couldn’t see him bridging the 23-place gap in the world rankings. Don’t be surprised to see the Austrian lose the battle in the 180 stakes, but win the war overall on the scoreboard.
Darren Webster to beat Steve West – 8/13
The ‘Demolition Man’ Darren Webster lived up to his name in the first round by doing an impressive number on James Wade, a former winner at the Winter Gardens no less.
He takes on Steve West later, who also enjoyed a notable victory in his opening game over world number 10 Michael Smith.
It has to be said, Webster’s win over Wade was the game of the tournament and we fancy him to dig out another triumph in Blackpool tonight.
Gary Anderson (-1.5 legs) v Daryl Gurney – 1/4
Being number two can be a tough place to be sometimes and Gary Anderson has had his wings clipped of late, especially with a shock 10-9 loss to Paul Hogan in the first round of the UK Open.
The ‘Flying Scotsman’ will be hoping to take off this evening as he faces dark horse Daryl Gurney, many pundits’ pick to go deep in the competition.
Gurney should bring this right down to the wire, but we believe the two-time world champ will realise the challenge of one of downing one of the bright young stars on Planet Darts and we’re tipping Anderson in a close one tonight.
Cristo Reyes (+3.5 legs) v Peter Wright – 4/5
Despite winning his first major title at the UK Open in March, Peter Wright’s snakebite lacked venom in the opening contest as he barely scraped past James Wilson, with a three-dart average worryingly below 90.
Wright may be best known for his striking hairstyles, but he seems to change his darts more than Lady Gaga goes through outfits in the opening round. He plays Spanish sensation Cristo Reyes tonight and the man from Tenerife has already shown he’s no in the mood to take any prisoners, dumping out 14 seed Robert Thornton 10-3 in the last round.
We might see Wright bouncing around the stage at the end of proceedings, but Reyes looks primed to push him right to the limit and the handicap win for the Spanard (+3.5 legs) looks a bullseye bet.
* All odds correct at time of posting