Darts fans will now flock to Alexandra Palace on Friday night for a double header featuring Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld, with the pair on a collision course to meet in the semi-finals of this amazing tournament.
The Power is going for his sixteenth title and has been relatively untroubled thus far, with Robert Thornton not providing the scare that everyone imagined was possible. Taylor went through in straight sets and is now the 2/1 favourite (William Hill free bets) to go all the way.
It won’t be easy in the quarter final against Andy Hamilton who boasts a reasonable head-to-head record with his Stoke adversary and the Hammer made light work of Terry Jenkins in the last sixteen stage where last year’s finalist hit his doubles at an excellent rate.
Bet365 offer 3/1 that Hamilton goes through to a semi-final against Whitlock or Barney, with the Dutchman full of confident after three largely flawless performances which has seen the popular player concede just one set.
Van Barneveld came into this tournament as a 16/1 chance thanks to a difficult draw although he proved too strong for Gary Anderson in the last round and whitewashed a player that had managed 19 180’s in the previous round against John Bowles.
Barney looks relaxed and confident, with William Hill going 4/6 that he beats his Australian opponent, although the Wizard is also accomplished on his doubles and odds of 11/8 about Whitlock will be taken by many.
We’re also in for a treat on Sunday night when Michael van Gerwen faces Adrian Lewis and the reigning champion is the underdog despite the fact that he has won the World Championship on the last two occasions.
Jackpot clearly comes alive at Ally Pally although he might need a special performance to beat Mighty Mike and odds of 6/4 look reasonably appealing against a Dutch opponent that is bang in form but has entered unchartered territory in this competition.
Wes Newton v James Wade completes the quarter final line-up and this looks a close to call match between two players that have swept aside opponents so far, with the Warrior probably the value shout at 11/10.