Our guide for Friday's quarter-final action at the Boylesports Grand Slam of Darts includes match-by-match predictions, Sky Bet odds and a suggested acca.
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The first two quarter-finals take place on Friday night with Michael Smith taking on Glen Durrant before Peter Wright faces Dave Chisnall.
Grand Slam of Darts: Friday November 15
- Smith and Wright at 2/1
- Click here to build your acca at Sky Bet
- TV Coverage: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)
- Second round: Best of 31 legs
Group G Position: 2nd Group H – 1st Group H
2019 Meetings: 1-2
Titles this season: 2-0
I'm really not a fan of a format that allows two players from the same group to meet again as early as the quarter-finals but at least it does give us another instalment of the politest of rivalries in darts right now.
The feud started at the World Matchplay, where Smith beat him 17-10 to reach the final, while in the build up to Wolverhampton, Bully Boy questioned how Duzza can join the PDC then qualify for this tournament as a BDO player.
He then proceeded to defeat him 5-3 during the group stage before claiming: "I should have won that game 5-0, easily won it 5-0, but I let him off. I wanted to put Glen under pressure and remind him of the Matchplay."
Durrant responded by saying: "I ain’t happy the way he spoke after the Matchplay and I certainly wasn’t happy the way he spoke yesterday. I just think I deserve a little respect, I just don’t like his interviews, I’ve not spoke to him today because I don’t want to."
In the middle of all this, both players have also been just as quick to state how much they admire each other, but there's still going to be needle as well as respect on the oche tonight.
While Duzza is bidding to reach his third major televised semi-final of a dream debut season in the PDC, Smith is chasing his sixth of a year that has remarkably brought him no titles whatsoever.
The St Helens man will definitely bag one sooner than later if he keeps banging on the door like he does and I reckon he'll maintain his 100% record in televised quarter-finals this year having also won at the UK Open, US Darts Masters, World Matchplay and European Championship.
Group H Position: 1st Group E – 1st Group F
Head-to-head: 13-12 (2 draws)
2019 Meetings: 1-0
Individual Titles this season: 3-4
This is about as evenly matched as you can get, regardless of what the odds say, due to their head-to-head record, their title-winning exploits this season and their form in Wolverhampton this week.
You could put a line through the 'head-to-head' factor given they've only met once this year, with Chizzy running out a 6-1 winner at the German Open, but it does at least highlight there's no historical mental blocks for either man to deal with.
In terms of 2019, Chisnall has not only rediscovered the kind of form we all hoped he would with three titles, including one on the stage environment of the European Tour, but he's also a new man from a phycological point of view and seems much more mentally strong than in previous years.
This hasn't quite helped him in his maiden televised title yet but he did reach the World Grand Prix final, where he was simply beaten by the phenomenal force that is Michael van Gerwen. There was no element of choking whatsoever.
Everyone in the world of darts - from players to the fans - would love nothing more than Chizzy to finally win a big one but unfortunately for him, Wright is brimming with confidence.
Snakebite has been one of the players of the second half of 2019 - after a not so great first half - with four titles and a world record average but he'll still be kicking himself about that agonisingly Champions League of Darts final.
He's spoken to Sporting Life recently about the pressure of getting more big titles under his belt before age catches up with him and his work ethic and determination are partly why I backed him pre-tournament at 12/1 this week.
I won't ditch him now.
Related darts links
- 2020 Premier League venues & dates
- 2019 PDC event calendar & results
- 2019 Premier League darts results
- 2018 PDC event calendar & results
- 2018 Premier League darts results
- Sky Bet's darts odds