With just four competitors remaining the tournament it really hotting up. You would be silly to rule any of players out of lifting trophy tomorrow night, but Gary Anderson does lead with the bookies.
‘The Flying Scotsman’s’ task of retaining the Sid Waddell trophy is much less complicated without arguable his biggest two competitors. Before his unexpected exit Michael van Gerwen was runaway favourite for a second World title, but the Dutchman will now have to wait another 12 months if he is to secure the biggest tournament of them all for a second time.
The conqueror of the World number one, Raymond van Barneveld, has made tremendous strides in the past fortnight. He is once again playing with a smile on his face, hitting the crowd pleasing finishing, and more to the point, competing with the words best. But can he claim a 6th World title? It depends if you are an optimist or a pessimist. Some will say he will begin where he left off against Michael Smith, other will say the Ally Pally veteran has run out of steam. Whatever happens in the match with Adrian Lewis, will should have another classic on our hands.
Jelle Klaasen has been the surprise package of the 2016 World Championships. Despite arriving in London in a scintillating run of form, he was priced at 100/1 my most bookies. How wrong could they be? He set the highest average of round one, and the Cobra struck again by disposing of Phil Taylor in round three. The momentous quarter final comeback over debutant Alan Norris earned him a place in the final four, but I feel Klaasen may have reached his summit.
Adrian Lewis seems to have stuck through relatively unrecognised but now has a huge chance of challenging for a third World title. Jackpot had not dropped a set until his quarter final with Peter Wright, which ended 5-2. The depleted Wright never troubled the Lewis throw as he plunged to a three set disadvantage. A reinvigorated Lewis has resurrected his scoring form but I still feel his inconsistent double hitting could let him down, especially against a player of Barney’s quality.
William Hill World Darts Championship
Saturday January 2 (8pm)
Raymond van Barneveld v Adrian Lewis
Gary Anderson v Jelle Klaasen
Best of 11 Sets