Michael van Gerwen continues his quest to end his title drought when he faces Nathan Aspinall in the World Matchplay quarter-finals on Friday.
The Dutchman is enduring an unusual barren spell having not won a tournament since November and faces a tricky task against Aspinall while Peter Wright and Michael Smith square off in the night’s other last-eight clash.
If our tips for Friday at the World Matchplay land as a double, it will be a 32/1 payout.
Nathan Aspinall to beat Michael van Gerwen 7/4
Aspinall battled through a classic to beat Gary Anderson 11-9 and secure a quarter-final spot and will head into the clash with Van Gerwen with confidence high.
The 2019 UK Open winner has four wins to his name from nine meetings with the Dutchman and has his sights firmly fixed on the title.
Aspinall told pdc.tv: “I’m not here to make the numbers up, I’m here to win and if I can play like I did in the last nine or 10 legs then I’ll be hard to beat.”
The 30-year-old hit eight 180s in victory over Anderson, averaging 98.98, while Van Gerwen averaged 100.68 in his 11-8 win over Ian White.
Aspinall has always shown a fighting spirit in big matches and that will be pivotal to beat Van Gerwen in our World Matchplay darts predictions.
Peter Wright to beat Michael Smith 16-10 11/1
Wright, the 2019 world champion, has flown somewhat under the radar at the Matchplay but a 105.46 average in beating Joe Cullen 11-5 on Wednesday is not to be sniffed at.
His checkout success was particularly of note at 55 per cent as he prevented Cullen from getting a foothold in the match.
That area of his game will be critical against the usually free-scoring Smith, who secured a brilliant 13-11 win over Jose de Sousa to reach the last eight.
Smith is renowned as one of the game’s leading 180 hitters, although he failed to register a single one in beating Ryan Searle in his first-round match and had to dig in again to get past De Sousa. He has ground his way to the last eight without finding top form.
“I wasn’t at my best but I showed true grit, determination and will to win so I’m over the moon to get the win,” Smith said.
If Smith fails to find his top gear, he will find it tough to fight his way past Wright who has the experience and ability to control the game and should come out on top with a strong margin of victory in our World Matchplay darts predictions.
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