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Jonny Clayton v Gary Anderson
After last week's upset where the Ferret lost in the final to Joe Cullen, Clayton will want to get back on the right track as we head into the last week of the competition before the knockout stages commence.
Anderson has had a torrid time this year and the previous world number one has failed to live up to the levels he has shown in previous tournaments. The Flying Scotsman comes into this matchup as the lowest seed with nine points to his name whilst Clayton will finish at the top of the leaderboard with 37 points.
This is a complete mismatch in form and ability which is to be expected whenever the top seed plays the bottom, regardless of the sport, but we will have to look in a different direction for a good value bet.
Out of the 22 games that Clayton has won this year, ten of them have been won by three legs or more (45%) and of the 13 games that Anderson has lost this year six of them have been lost by three legs or more (46%) but when you consider that these players are on opposite ends of the spectrum and Clayton -2.5 is coming in around evens it’s a good value bet.
Joe Cullen v Peter Wright
Joe “The RockStar” Cullen got his second week win last time out which now gives him a 50% win rate when he reaches the finals. This was an opportune time to get a finals win because of the importance of this matchup, both players are tied for points on 22 and whoever bests the other will be going to knockout stages to occupy the fourth spot on the table.
Snakebite Wright was humiliated by Cullen last week, after reaching the semi-finals he only managed to get one leg whilst Cullen finished off the game (6-1). Snakebite will need to be at his best if he wants to get the better of his opponent.
Wright is the bookies favourite for this matchup but all things considered it looks like an even contest with both players having the same record against one another (W2-L2) with the aggregated score going in Cullens favour (21-17). Not to mention the 6-1 thrashing he just threw down on Wright before going on to win the finals, as well as Wright's current woes, we are surprised that The RockStar isn’t favourite.
CULLEN TO WIN
MVG v Michael Smith
MVG will play Smith for the second week running, he lost the most recent matchup in a tantalising 11 leg thriller which was definitely a surprise to most darts fans out there. These two have come up against eachother on six occasions already and MVG has won five of those six games.
Smith will be disappointed with how his year turned out, with no possibility of getting into the knockouts next week (currently in 7th place) he will look to return to good form the next time the competition rolls around.
As stated previously, MVG has won five of the six times these two have played together but once we take a closer look at these matches we’ll be able to form a good value bet. Every single game between the two players has resulted in over 9.5 legs with two 6-4’s and four 6-5’s.
This means we can do a few different bets, the most obvious being over 9.5 legs but you could also find some value in Smith +1.5 which has come true in two thirds of the matches played or Smith +2.5 which has a 100% success rate.
Over 9.5 LEGS
James Wade v Gerwyn Price
The Welshman is coming off the back of a defeat against the league leader (Clayton) in the first round of the last week. Price has struggled for form this year but has managed to produce some moments of excellence of the course of the 15 weeks.
Wade lost by the same scoreline as Price (6-3) but to the fourth seed Peter Wright. Wade has scured his spot for the knockouts but could potentially move down a spot if he losses in the first round here.
Given how this match doesn’t mean anything to Price (because he has nothing to play for) and Wade wants to be as high seed as possible to avoid playing Jonny Clayton. He is currently the favourite which is to be expected considering he has won four out of the five matchups this year (6-3, 6-5, 6-2, 6-1 and 4-6). The only time Wade didn’t get the better of Price was in the most important game back in the Final of Week 3.
WADE TO WIN
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