After two weeks of hard toil, were down to the last four at the PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.
Favourite Phil Taylor bit the dust in a huge upset in the second round so there’s a chance for one of the sport’s other leading players to have a stab at the biggest tournament in the game.
Both semi-finals take place tonight, with Simon Whitlock taking on Peter Wright before the one everyone’s waiting for, Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis.
Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis
It’s the semi-final of the bottom of the draw that was widely expected before the tournament as second seed Michael van Gerwen takes on third seed Adrian Lewis.
With the absence of Taylor, both these players know that their biggest hurdle between them and the title is this semi-final.
It would be van Gerwen’s first World Championship if he to win the next two matches. The Dutchman’s ability cannot be disputed but the question remains whether he yet possesses the maturity to win the sport’s most prestigious title.
I say that because at 4-1 up against quarter-final opponent Mark Webster, the 24-year-old clearly took his foot off the gas and threw a number of careless darts, allowing the Welshman back into the match at 4-3.
A break after the seventh set played into van Gerwen’s hands and he was able to secure the match by taking set eight but if he plays like that against a player like Lewis he will be punished.
Lewis came through his quarter-final against James Wade with relative ease but will still need to step up his game for the semi-final with van Gerwen.
‘Jackpot’ Lewis will be looking to capture the world title he won in both 2011 and 2-12 but is priced as the outsider with the bookies, Ladbrokes just one of many offering odds of 11/10 on him beating van Gerwen, which is MY BET OF THE DAY.
The best odds on van Gerwen winning the best-of-11 sets semi-final comes from Sportingbet at 17/20.
Peter Wright v Simon Whitlock
Let’s not forget the first semi-final of the night which sees fourth seed Simon Whitlock take on the tournament’s surprise package Peter Wright.
Whitlock will be eying up this year’s tournament as the best chance of winning the World Championship since his finishing as runner-up in 2010.
After easing through his first three matches without dropping a set, the Australian staved off a dangerous comeback from Stoke’s Ian White in the quarter-finals to book his place in the last four.
Snakebite Wright will be going into the semi-final with nothing to lose and he could cause an upset with the knowledge there is no expectation behind him.
He had a relatively easy route through to the quarter-finals before beating eighth seed Wes Newton 5-4 on Saturday night.
Tournament Outright Odds
Live coverage of the semi-finals is on Sky Sports 1 from 7:00pm tonight.
Don’t forget you can also claim free bets with tournament sponsor Ladbrokes by clicking HERE.