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It’s often said that it’s usually the two best players in the tournament will more often than not find their way to a final, and that is clearly the case in this World Matchplay Darts. Peter Wright and the defending champion Dimitri Van den Bergh have lit up the Winter Gardens stage over the last week or so and go into this decider boasting the two highest scoring averages in the competition.
On that stat though, Wright leads Van den Bergh by quite a margin (104.57 to 99.95), as he looks to win the Phil Taylor trophy for the first time in his career. Snakebite has made it to this point relatively easily, beating Danny Noppert, Joe Cullen, and Michael Smith with plenty in hand to advance to a last-four meeting with Michael van Gerwen. Last night The Scot kicked things into yet another gear, delivering one of his best performances ever on the TV stage to wallop MVG 17-10, with an amazing average of 110.37.
Van den Bergh stands in his way tonight though, with the Belgium looking to hold on to the only major title he’s ever won on the PDC tour. Dancing Dimi may be popular with the fans for his walk-on antics, but he has been all business on the Blackpool stage since the tournament began. Van den Bergh has also had a far more difficult road to the final than his opponent, and he has had to beat quality opposition in Devon Petersen, Dave Chisnall, world champion Gerwyn Price and Krzysztof Ratajski to secure his spot in the decider.
Anyways, enough of the history lesson, let’s get you to the three picks we fancy in tonight’s contest.
While we have been taken by how both players got to this final, Peter Wright has been by far the most consistent player in the field since the World Matchplay began. His four-match averages read as follows 99.75, 105.46, 100.37 and 110.37, and he hasn’t dipped below 37% in his checkout percentages.
He has also beaten the handicap on offer here in every match to date and has only lost 24 legs in the entire competition. That’s impressive in anyone’s book and if you need more reason to back the selection above, have a gander at the world number two’s head-to-head record with Van den Bergh.
Snakebite leads the Belgian 9-2 (with a single draw) in their career meetings and he’s also won the two matches on the TV stage against him as well, which includes an 8-5 win back in May in this year’s Premier League. We reckon Wright can keep the train of good performances rolling here, and we are tipping him to get the job done with a bit to spare tonight.
As you can see above, we are going with Wright to win. But, you can expect a close run thing on the maximum charts later as both players haven’t been shy of battering the red-bit. Wright landed a tasty 12 180s in his dismissal of Michael van Gerwen last night, while Van den Bergh grabbed 14 of them in just 18 legs in his Round 2 meeting with Dave Chisnall.
Dancing Dimi has waltzed his way to 38 180s in the competition, which is seven more than what Wright has managed – albeit he has played seven more legs than the Scot. But, he also boasts a slightly better 180s per leg ratio than Wright, and don’t be surprised if he hits the most maximum scores later this evening.
We’ve decided to have a little fun with our final beat for tonight, and we’ve dipped into the plentiful #WhatOddsPaddy bets on offer. Both of these players are well known for their combination finishes as they are among the most steady players on the PDC circuit.
Just remember this doesn’t need to be done by hitting a 100+ outshot. Often players will need the bull to bail them out after missing trebles for finishes in the 90s and 80s, and it would be no shock to us to see both Wright and Van den Bergh utilise the bullseye in Blackpool at least once in this one.
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