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World Matchplay Darts Preview

World Matchplay Darts Preview

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This weekend marks the beginning of the darts World Match Play as the planet’s top 32 players duke it out to be crowned champion in Blackpool. 

The world’s top 16 are joined by the next 16 in the order of merit to make up the field for this prestigious event that spans over the course of a week in the north west of England. But who will come out on top of the pile come Sunday 23rd July? 

Here, we’ll preview the upcoming World Match Play tournament to try to find the eventual winner. Read on for more. 

Big game

The draw has thrown out some interesting ties on both sides, but all eyes in the first round will no doubt be on the matchup between Dave Chisnall and Gary Anderson. These two have met on many occasions in the past, but Chizzy has had Gary’s number in their last two clashes and that will provide him with plenty of confidence heading into this opener on Saturday. 

Things are unlikely to get any easier for the man from St Helens, as he could end up facing Ryan Cross and then Gerwyn Price if the rounds go as expected. If he somehow gets through all that, he could still end up facing world number one Michael Smith in the semis. Bully, who’s also from St Helens, has a favourable draw and is expected to get to the final. 

Play it Wright

Peter Wright comes into this competition as the number two seed and as a result he avoids Michael Smith’s side of the draw. The 2021 champion will be confident of another good run in this and will be hoping he won’t have to come up against Michael van Gerwen en route to the final. The Scotsman doesn’t have the best record against his Dutch counterpart, but Mighty Mike is prone to the odd shock defeat. 

Van Gerwen is actually the defending champion here though and he too will be happy with how the draw has panned out. He also won the Poland Masters warming up for this event, so his confidence will be high for a good run. If he can play his best darts, he’s the one to beat here and will want to win back to back titles as he did in 2015 and 2016. 

One to watch 

The focus will rightly be on the top seeds for this tournament, but there’s one who will fancy his chances and is a bit of an outsider. Dimitri Van den Berg won this in 2020, beating Gary Anderson in the final. He’s also one of the few players on the tour capable of beating the top dogs on his day and being on what looks to be the better side of the draw will come as a bonus. 

Darts is an incredibly unpredictable sport. Any can literally beat anyone. But if Michael van Gerwen is hungry and on form, there probably isn’t a player who is going to stop him.

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