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World Matchplay Darts Preview and Sporting dates for the diary 2017

World Matchplay Darts 2017

Preview by Shane McArdle

The £500,000 BetVictor World Matchplay darts began on Saturday July 22 and runs to Sunday July 30 at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool.

The tournament sees the top 16 players in the PDC Order of Merit as of July 10, 2017 qualify and will be seeded for the tournament. The top 16 players on the ProTour Order of Merit not to have already qualified will be unseeded.

Michael van Gerwen is the reigning champion and was a 10-4 winner over Stephen Bunting in the opening round. He faces Australian Simon Whitlock in round-two ,with the Aussie hot-shot looking in very good form in his 10-5 win over fellow countryman Kyle Anderson, so it promises to be a tasty encounter on Wednesday evening.

Phil “The Power” Taylor has won the title on 15 occasions and was also a beaten finalist last year. This is to be Taylor’s last ever appearance in the World Matchplay as he is to retire from the sport at the end of the current season. You couldn’t rule out a 16th victory in his last appearance with a whole lot of confidence. He took care of Gerwyn Price in what was a very tricky first-round tie. He now faces the tie of the second round where he renews rivalry with his old adversary Raymond van Barneveld.

Darren Webster, who dumped-out James Wade in round-one faces Steve West who took care of Michael Smith in his opening match, meaning one of these players will be guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals following those big first-round victories.

Other notable contenders still in the field are Gary Anderson who was a 10-7 winner over Dutch-man Christian Kist, Adrian Lewis who has come back from back surgery to defeat Steve Beaton 10-7, Mensur Suljovic who was a convincing 10-4 winner over “Big” John Henderson, Dave “Chizzy” Chisnall who didn’t perform to his best but was still too good for Mervyn King, winning by a 10-7 scoreline, and Peter Wright who was also below-par but battled hard to see-off “Jammy Dodger” James Wilson 10-8.

My Verdict (predicted pre-tournament):

 As much as I would love to see Phil Taylor bow out with a victory, I don’t see it happening. World No.1 Michael van Gerwen will be very difficult to beat in his current form, Peter Wright is another with very strong form claims as is Gary Anderson, although this tournament has not been a happy hunting ground for the world number 2 (Gary Anderson) as he confessed himself in a recent interview on PDC.TV.

My three each-way selections are Dave Chisnall (28/1), Mensur Suljovic (50/1) and Daryl Gurney (66/1)

It promises to be a fantastic tournament and will be shown live on Sky.

Here is the match betting, outright betting and our predictions for the eight second-round matches.

Second Round Match Betting:

(Prices correct as at 10am on July 25th)

Tuesday July 25

(7:15pm) 2/7 Mensur Suljovic v Justin Pipe 5/2

Prediction – Mensur Suljovic -3.5 legs @ 5/6

 (8:15pm) 4/6 Darren Webster v Steve West 6/5

PredictionDarren Webster

(9:30pm) 1/4 Gary Anderson v Daryl Gurney 3/1

PredictionGary Anderson to hit most 180’s @ Evs

(10:30pm) 1/5 Peter Wright v Cristo Reyes 7/2

PredictionPeter Wright -3.5 legs @ 5/6

Wednesday July 26

 (7:15pm) 1/3 Dave Chisnall v Alan Norris 9/4

PredictionDave Chisnall Hat-trick (most 180’s, highest checkout & win) @ 13/8

(8:30pm) 8/13 Adrian Lewis v Rob Cross 5/4

PredictionAdrian Lewis

(9:30pm) 8/11 Phil Taylor v Raymond van Barneveld 11/10

PredictionRaymond van Barneveld to hit most 180’s @ 4/5

(10:30pm) 1/20 Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock 9/1

PredictionSimon Whitlock +6.5 legs @ 10/11

Outright Betting:

8/15 Michael van Gerwen, 9/2 Gary Anderson, 13/2 Peter Wright, 18/1 Phil Taylor,  25/1 Dave Chisnall, 28/1 Adrian Lewis, 33/1 Mensur Suljovic, 40/1 Raymond van Barneveld, 50/1 Rob Cross, 50/1 Daryl Gurney, 100/1 Simon Whitlock, 100/1 Cristo Reyes, 125/1 Darren Webster, 150/1 Alan Norris, 150/1 Steve West, 200/1 Justin Pipe

Each Way Betting 1/3 odds 1-2

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The draw for the Group stage of the 2017-18 Champions League will take place on August 24, with the 2018 Champions League final set for Kiev on May 26

Football's CONCACAF GOLD CUP runs from July 7 to July 26

The International Champions Cup 2017 will run from July 18 to July 30. The teams involved in North America/Europe games (July 20-30) are Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Juventus, PSG, Roma, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur; the teams involved in Singapore games (July 25-29) are Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Inter Milan; the teams involved in China games (July 17-22) are AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal

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