A stellar field will assemble at the wonderful Winter Gardens in Blackpool for the 2019 edition of the World Matchplay. World Champion Michael van Gerwen will, as always, be the man to beat. The Dutchman is struggling for form though and we fancy Gary Anderson to retain the trophy.
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(1) Michael van Gerwen v Steve Beaton (16) Adrian Lewis v Glen Durrant (8) James Wade v Jeffrey de Zwaan (9) Mensur Suljovic v Jermaine Wattimena
(5) Michael Smith v Jamie Hughes (12) Dave Chisnall v Max Hopp (4) Gary Anderson v Danny Noppert (13) Nathan Aspinall v Mervyn King
(2) Rob Cross v Chris Dobey (15) Darren Webster v Krzysztof Ratajski (7) Gerwyn Price v Stephen Bunting (10) Ian White v Joe Cullen
(6) Peter Wright v Vincent van der Voort (11) Simon Whitlock v John Henderson (3) Daryl Gurney v Ricky Evans
(14) Jonny Clayton v Keegan Brown
The first round is the best of 19 legs. This increases each round with the final being a marathon best of 35 legs. All games must be won by two clear legs.
Analysis and Betting Tips – The Main Contenders
Michael van Gerwen takes his customary role as the favourite, at 3/22.50+1501.501.50-0.67. Tight as this price is it signals a small drift over the last few weeks. The Green Machine has been in poor form over the last few months. He did win the Premier League in May but was not very convincing along the way. He hasn’t won any of the last five events he has entered and has suffered early defeats in the US Masters and German Masters in the two weekends prior to the Matchplay.
His record at Blackpool is not fantastic either. He has two victories to his name but that is an unusually poor return for MVG. 3/22.50+1501.501.50-0.67 doesn’t exactly scream value.
Rob Cross is next best at 8/19.00+8008.008.00-0.13. The world number two is housed in the opposite side of the draw to both MVG and Gary Anderson and will fancy a good run. However, actually getting over the winning line is proving a problem for Voltage and it is nearly a year since he picked up a winner’s trophy.
He hasn’t done much since and exited early from the US and German Masters in the run-up to the Matchplay. This isn’t a huge worry with Anderson though, as he tends to be very selective about which events to try his hardest in.
His early draw looks fine with Danny Noppert and Dave Chisnall unlikely to trouble him.
Bigger challengers will await, and he may have to face MVG in the semi-final. But at 10/111.00+100010.0010.00-0.10 he looks the best of the short-priced contenders.
TOP TIP! – Gary Anderson to win 10/111.00+100010.0010.00-0.10
Peter Wright had a terrible time in the Premier League and looked to be on a downward career trajectory. He has made a decent recovery though with a win in the Dutch Masters at the end of May, and the German Masters last weekend.
He has halved in price to as low as 12/113.00+120012.0012.00-0.08, and any value is long gone. Snakebite remains a dodgy betting proposition anyway.
Gerwyn Price is an interesting contender at 20/121.00+200020.0020.00-0.05. His Grand Slam victory last year proved that he has the ability to win these events. However, he still looks to be a little below top-class and needs the best opposition to have an off-day or to be put off by his on-stage shenanigans.
Daryl Gurney has put some nice wins on the board over the last two years, including a £100K pot in the Players Championship last November. He continued that fine form into the Premier League, reaching the semi-finals with two victories over MVG in the league phase.
His number three seeding means he will avoid the big guns in the early rounds. He looks the one to be on in the bottom half of the draw at a nice 25/126.00+250025.0025.00-0.04.
TOP TIP! – Daryl Gurney to win 25/126.00+250025.0025.00-0.04
James Wade has six appearances in the final here, a fantastic record albeit with only one victory.
He clearly loves the venue and will always be ready to pounce on players who perform below their best. The draw hasn’t been too kind to him though. He has a terrible record against his likely opponent in the second round, Mensur Suljovic.
Nathan Aspinall has had a brilliant 8 eight months. His run to the World Championship semi-final in December had a hint of ‘lucky draw’ about it at first glance. However, he put the doubters to bed in March with a £100K triumph in the UK Open.
His good form has continued with another win in the invitational US Masters in early July. He will head to Blackpool full of confidence. 25/126.00+250025.0025.00-0.04 is very short though for a player making his Blackpool debut.
Best of The Rest
Last year’s runner-up Mensur Suljovic has been written off at 40/141.00+400040.0040.00-0.03. He unique playing style makes him a difficult opponent that many players flounder against. He could go well again.
Bully Boy Michael Smith has struggled to get over the disappointment of losing in the World Championship final last December. He will eventually rediscover some form but for the moment he is one to avoid.
Ian White is a fine player who consistently struggles on these big stages in front of boisterous audiences. He has a couple of £25K wins already this year at the European Grand Prix and Dutch Darts Masters. These have moved him up to Number 10 in the world, but his dismal record in the TV Majors is off-putting. He has never been beyond the quarter-finals of any of the premium events.
BDO Champion Glen Durrant is an exciting recruit to the PDC ranks. He has started off fine, but not well enough to indicate he could go deep here at his first attempt at 50/151.00+500050.0050.00-0.02.
Dave Chisnall has made an art-form of throwing matches away. Until he discovers how to close out matches he cannot be a reliable punt.
Jamie Hughes has also recently come over from the BDO and has already won a £25K pot at the Czech Open. The Matchplay is a huge step up from that though.
Jackpot Adrian Lewis has started to rectify a slump which saw him slide out of the Top 16. He is still some way short of his best, reflected in odds of 80/181.00+800080.0080.00-0.01. His first-round tie against Glen Durrant will be one of the most eagerly awaited.
Jeffrey de Zwaan defeated MVG in the first-round last year and went all the way to the semi-finals. He hasn’t really pushed on from that though.
This is a high-class renewal with very few weak links. Players like Chris Dobey, Keegan Brown, Max Hopp and Danny Noppert all have the potential to be top players over the next few years. Rapid Ricky Evans has huge potential also but may have to slow his game down.
Amongst the old guard, Steve Beaton often threatens for a round or two, though he has MVG up first. Mervyn King and Simon Whitlock still perform to a high standard, and Whitlock was twice a semi-finalist here at the start of the decade.
2019 Darts World Matchplay FAQ
What is the 2019 World Matchplay darts schedule?
The action starts on Saturday evening 20th July from the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. Nathan Aspinall and Mervyn King is the first game up. The action will continue each day until the final on Sunday 28th July.
Is the event on TV?
All games will be shown live on Sky Sports.
What is the prize money for World Matchplay Darts?
As the second biggest event in the calendar, the prize fund is huge. The winner will take home £150K, and even first-round losers will leave with a nice £10K cheque.
Who will be 2019 World Matchplay winner?
Our tips are:
Gary Anderson to win 10/111.00+100010.0010.00-0.10
JK hails from Dublin and is an avid fan of all sports. He's been gambling with success for nearly 30 years and believes that research and dedication is the key. JK's attention to detail and knack of spotting opportunities that others often miss gives him the edge over the bookies.
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