Our guide to Wednesday's fourth-round action at the PDC's William Hill World Darts Championship includes the order of play, match-by-match previews, predictions, seasonal statistics, head-to-head records, odds and a suggested acca.
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The fourth round of the World Championship concludes at the Ally Pally today and darts statisticianCarl Fletcher returns to our daily preview hotseat to preview all six matches across both sessions.
At the very bottom of you'll find graphics of every player's season stats as well as an additional one to chart how successful they've all been in achieving the 'Match Treble' in all their PDC matches this year (winning with the most 180s and highest checkouts).
World Championship: Wednesday December 30
- TV Coverage: Sky Sports Darts (1200 & 1800 GMT)
- Fourth Round: Best of 7 sets, no tie-breakers in any set
Wednesday's darts accas
- Gurney, Searle and Anderson all to win at 3.07/1
- Price highest checkout, Van Duijvenbode and Chisnall most 180’s at 4.18/1
- Click here to build your acca
AFTERNOON SESSION (1200 GMT)
- Head to Head: 4-4
- 2020 Meetings: 1-0
- PDC Titles this Season: 0-0 (TV: 0-0)
- Career PDC Titles: 4-5 (TV: 0-2)
- PDC World Championship Appearances: 13-7
- PDC World Championship Best: Quarter-Final (2011, 2015) – Quarter-Final (2017)
These two have met once before in 2020 and that was in the second biggest tournament of the year, the World Matchplay when the big Dutchman ran out a comfortable winner 11-5.
Gurney twice a major winner in the PDC has not enjoyed the greatest of years with a defeat in the Semi-Final of the UK Open to Michael Van Gerwen being the pick of his form. He also managed to avoid elimination in the Premier League having looked in trouble at times, where he picked up some terrific results including wins over Michael Van Gerwen and Peter Wright plus a draw with Gerwyn Price in the second phase of the rescheduled event. We know the ability is there, it’s just not been there as consistently as in previous years.
Having averaged 94.78 for the year, we’ve seen ‘Super Chin’ return back to his best in this year’s World Championship so far. His tournament average is above the ton mark at 100.35. His doubling is 43.86% and his 180 per leg ratio is 0.25. There’s a lot to like about his two victories too.
Having looked untouchable in the first two sets of his opening match against William O’Connor he survived a comeback from his opponent to finally get over the line, demonstrating his battling qualities, averaging just shy of 100. Then in his second match he withstood everything an excellent Chris Dobey threw at him to comfortably prevail 4-1, it really was a classy performance from Gurney. In his post-match interview he suggested he was practicing harder and better than ever and was looking for revenge for his Matchplay defeat. You’d have to say it’s hard to disagree with those comments on his performances this week.
Van Der Voort however as been fairly impressive too. He beat his compatriot Ron Meulenkamp 3-2 in his opening match, producing an excellent comeback after a slow start. Then in his following match he claimed the notable scalp of Nathan Aspinall, winning 4-2. In contrast to his opening match he got off to flyer, survived a spirited fightback from ‘The Asp’ then easily won the last two sets off an under par opponent who just couldn’t get going later on.
Despite a 4-4 head to head record, on paper Van Der Voort has a bit to find with his opponent. His seasonal average is a couple of points behind Gurney at 92.49 and his tournament average is some 5 points behind at 94.56.
Despite not winning a title since 2014 you could argue that Vincent has had somewhat of a resurgence of late, arguably playing better than he has for a number of years. Both players are looking to match their best effort in this event and reach another Quarter Final, if Gurney can replicate the consistency shown in his opening two performances I expect him to run out a comfortable winner in the end.
- Score Prediction: Daryl Gurney 4-2 Vincent Van Der Voort
- Suggested Bet: Gurney to win -1.5 Sets (Evs)
- Head to Head: 1-1
- 2020 Meetings: 0-0
- PDC Titles this Season: 0-1 (TV: 0-0)
- Career PDC Titles: 1-1 (TV: 0-0)
- PDC World Championship Appearances: 6-2
- PDC World Championship Best: Quarter Final (2015) – Fourth Round (2019)
Not many would have envisaged this being the likely match at this stage for a place in the Quarter Final and it is the unseeded Ryan Searle that comes into this match a relatively short price favourite.
Having met just twice before the head to head record is one apiece but both those meetings were in 2019. Searle starts favourite for this as he has had much better year in 2020. He won his maiden and only PDC title to date when he claimed the Players Championship Three title, starting with an opening round victory over Gerwyn Price and culminating with a final victory against Michael Van Gerwen.
This is only the third year that ‘Heavy Metal’ has played at Ally Pally and both previous efforts were very respectable too having been eliminated at this stage in 2019 and the third round in 2020 at the hands of Michael Smith and Gary Anderson respectively. He’s already come through three fantastic matches over the opening fortnight, beating Danny Lauby 3-2, Jeffrey De Zwaan 3-0 then Kim Huybrechts 4-2 with averages of 98.31, 92.72 and 91.79. These don’t tell the whole story however, he’s been very impressive and looked at home and in control on that big stage.
His tournament average of 94.31 average is in line with his seasonal average whilst his other key data this week show a 0.27 180 per leg ratio and doubles percentage of 36.08%, are all very respectable over the 55 legs he’s played thus far.
Stephen Bunting the 26th seed has come through two close games. A 3-2 victory against Andy Boulton in his opening match, followed up by a 4-2 win over a below par James Wade (despite a 9 darter) averaging 93 in both matches, again playing to his seasonal standard.
He starts underdog in this however based on this years form with two Semi Finals on the floor as good as it’s got for ‘The Bullet’. With his low points not qualifying for the Matchplay then having to withdraw from the World Grand Prix due to a positive Covid test but he notably stated in a recent interview he’s aiming to make up for lost time.
The 2014 BDO World Champion will be aiming to make it to the Quarter Finals for the second time since he achieved that feat in his debut year in the PDC in 2015. His record during his time in the PDC with just a solitary title to his name however is somewhat staggering for a man has talented as him.
Both his seasonal and tournament stats are just short of that of Searle and having tipped the latter at 200/1 for the event and 33/1 to win this Quarter in my Outsider to follow article pre-tournament I’m not going to desert ‘Heavy Metal’ here. In fact, it’s looking ever promising as the winner of this match faces Krzysztof Ratajski for a place in the Semi-Final.
Given ‘The Bullet’ has been a slow starter in both his opening matches, if the same happens here I don’t expect a player on an upward curve such as Ryan Searle to relent here.
- Score Prediction: Ryan Searle 4-2
- Suggested Bet: Searle to win match and most 180’s (13/8)
- Head to Head: 4-0
- 2020 Meetings: 0-0
- PDC Titles this Season: 1-1 (TV: 0-0)
- Career PDC Titles: 41-1 (TV: 15-0)
- PDC World Championship Appearances: 11-7
- PDC World Championship Best: Winner (2015, 2016) – Fourth Round (2019)
Gary Anderson was an angry man after coming through a gruelling third round match with Mensur Suljovic. The slow pace and gamesmanship of the Austrian clearly irked the Scot but I don’t think he’ll encounter the same problems against his South African opponent here.
The good news is ‘The Flying Scotsman’ has looked pain free in his two victories so far but neither have been straightforward. Madars Razma managed to take a set off him despite ‘Ando’ averaging 96.96 in a 3-1 victory but his Latvian opponent was creating chances for himself as a result of his strong Treble 19 hitting. Then a late burst of six successive legs helped him overturn the match against Suljovic as he won 4-3, albeit with a less than impressive 92.49 average.
The 2015 and 2016 back to back World Champion has not been his vintage self this year with just a solitary title to his name in the opening Players Championship event of the season. He’s had some good results too however with a Semi-Final defeat in the Premier League, when he looked like he had eventual champion, Glen Durrant beat and he also was Runner Up in the Matchplay to an in form Dimitri Van Den Bergh. He still looks a little off the pace here though but one part of his game that has stood the test has been his combination finishing as he’s already registered six ton plus outshots including a 156 and 161.
His tournament average of 94.10 is lower than we’re used to (his seasonal average is 96.38) and his 180 per leg ratio is a lowly 0.19.
Having said all that, although Petersen’s tournament so far on paper although it looks plain sailing it’s fair to say he’s had a little bit of luck, his opponents (Steve Lennon and Jason Lowe) across the two matches have missed a glut of doubles, 54 combined to be exact which equates to a finishing percentage of just 18.18%.
Petersen’s tournament data isn’t great reading either with an average of just 90.23 (well below his seasonal average of 96.89) and double percentage of just 31.51%. He can often afford a few missed doubles as he remains the best 180 hitter in the game at present. In the 35 legs he’s played so far he’s amassed sixteen 180’s at a very impressive rate of 0.46 per leg.
In what has been a breakthrough year for Petersen as he claimed his maiden PDC title in the German Darts Championship, he also reached his first major semi-final in the European Championship, although he was probably a bit aggrieved at the time he didn’t beat James Wade to set up a final with Peter Wright.
This recent slump in performance is a slight worry especially if your money is being carried by Devon for the title as he’s only managed one ton plus average in his last seventeen matches. He will have to tighten his finishing up here if he’s to reach his first World Championship Quarter-Final, get past this stage for the first time and beat Gary Anderson for the first time, although they haven’t met since 2016 when Gary was the dominant force and ruling the world of darts. At the same time I don’t see Anderson being so profligate when closing out legs and his opponents so far.
- Score Prediction: Gary Anderson 4-3 Devon Petersen
- Suggested Bet: Gary Anderson to win the match and Devon Petersen to hit the most 180’s (13/8)
EVENING SESSION (1800 GMT)
- Head to Head: 1-2
- 2020 Meetings: 1-2
- PDC Titles this Season: 0-1 (TV: 0-1)
- Career PDC Titles: 0-3 (TV: 0-1)
- PDC World Championship Appearances: 1-1
- PDC World Championship Best: First Round (2016) – Quarter Final (2020)
Glen Durrant, the man crowned Premier League champion back in October has gone under the radar slightly this year having come into this event out of form for a man of his capabilities. There were signs however in his third round over Danny Baggish, that he’d turned the corner and that he could yet have a big say over this upcoming week.
He survived a mini revival from his American opponent in that aforementioned victory but on the whole it was definitely the ‘Duzza’ we’ve become accustomed too, consistent scoring then finishing with aplomb to grind down his opponent.
Having suffered with Covid in late October and having to miss both the International Darts Open and European Championship, that was only the second time between October and December (17 matches) that Durrant had produced a 95+ average during which time he’d lost 10 times including a run of 7 straight defeats. Whilst that match was a big improvement there it was signs that the long term effect of Covid were potentially still having an impact.
His tournament average over the first two matches is a respectable if not spectacular 93.12 but that is dragged down somewhat by a 3-0 laboured victory over Diogo Portela in the second round where he average just 88.37. One a positive note one of the best Double 8 and Double 16 hitters in the world seems to have rediscovered that natural talent on the section of the board. He’s 70% on Double 16 and 62.5% on Double 8. If he can leave his favourite double, his all round game is so much better.
We know he’s capable of better as his updated yearly average of 96.05 reflects and he will probably need to be as his next opponent, Dirk Van Duijvenbode should be his toughest assignment to date.
‘The Aubergenius’ as he has been coined during 2020 has been one of the stars of the tournament. He bravely fought back against the World Youth Champion Bradley Brooks in the opening round. Having trailed 2-0 following a blistering start from his opponent, he reeled off nine successive legs to win 3-2.
Equally, in his second round 3-2 victory over 2018 World Champion, Rob Cross he had to show his resolve. With his opponent sat on a double after twelve darts to win the match, Dirk produced arguably the checkout of the tournament with the three dart combo of 99 to edge a thriller again having lost the opening set.
Whilst his 4-0 victory over Adam Hunt looks facile it was anything but. ‘The Hunter’ threw nine 180’s in that game and scored extremely strongly only to find Dirk at the peak of his powers where he averaged 104.09 and 52.17% on his doubles. It was a performance that caught the eye and one of the best we’ve seen in the opening fortnight. After that he is on the shortlist for the title for sure.
Whilst he’s yet to win his maiden PDC title, 2020 has been quite the year for him. He started it strongly with a Semi-Final run at the second Players Championship event of the year and since then it is gone from strength to strength. A semi-finalist at the Belgian Darts Championship, he’s also a European Championships and Players Championship Quarter Finalist too. The highlight of his year however was reaching his first major final, in which he lost the World Grand Prix Darts final to Gerwyn Price. He’s now on the brink of the Top 32 of the World.
They’ve met three times previously, all this year and it’s Duzza who leads the head to head 2-1 having won twice 6-5 but having lost the other heavily 6-1. All those meeting were in February and has lost has changed since then.
With a niggling doubt about Durrant’s covid exertions and the form of Dirk I’m edging for the unseeded player to edge this battle. He’s the slightly stronger 180 hitter of the two in both the seasonal and tournament stats and despite Glen being the stronger finisher, the longer this match goes the more likely it is the scoring power will tell.
- Score Prediction: Dirk Van Duijvenbode 4-3 Glen Durrant
- Suggested Bet: Van Duijvenbode to win at hit the most 180’s (13/8)
- Head to Head: 3-3
- 2020 Meetings: 1-0
- PDC Titles this Season: 8-0 (TV: 3-0)
- Career PDC Titles: 17-7 (TV: 5-0)
- PDC World Championship Appearances: 6-13
- PDC World Championship Best: Semi Final (2020) – Semi Final (2009)
A tungsten tussle between two previous semi-finalists that promises to be a very tight encounter.
Mervyn King was impressive in his opening match victory over Max Hopp where he averaged 99.64. He followed that up in his previous match with Jose De Sousa by ruthlessly dispatching of his Portuguese opponent, averaging 103.47 and with a doubles percentage of 57.14%. It was a just a clinical display from ‘The King’ who checked out every opportunity he had from 81 or below, never allowing ‘The Special One’ to settle.
He came into this tournament in terrific form anyway having lost in a last leg decider to Michael Van Gerwen in the Final of the Players Championship Finals, where he demolished an under par Peter Wright 11-4 in the Semi-Finals having already beaten Dave Chisnall and an in form Damon Heta in the Quarter Finals. Mervyn is a very consistent performer and will exploit any weakness in his opponent’s game.
His tournament average coming into this match is 101.41, his doubles percentage 50% and his 180 per leg ratio is a massive 0.39, all above his updated seasonal statistics of 94.02, 42.09% and 0.22 respectively.
Gerwyn Price comes into this the favourite but with inferior tournament stats to his opponent. A tournament average of 96.61, doubles percentage of 43.33% and 180 per leg ratio of 0.30. For information his updated seasonal data reads: 98.41, 42.46% and 0.27, which are all better than Kings.
‘The Iceman’ has come through two very tough matches, going to the final set in each of his opening two matches. He very much underperformed against Jamie Lewis although he won 3-2 as he averaged a lowly 91.97. He was arguably getting a shade lucky too as Lewis bust 68 to break early in the final set. In stark contrast however, his second match vs Brendan Dolan was an absolute belter where he was pushed all the way to a deciding leg to prevail. What was particularly impressive was how Price – who averaged 99.74 - never wilted despite a relentless display of 100+ hitting from his Northern Irish opponent. In fact, one leg aside where he missed a whopping nine darts to win a leg I would argue that the Welshman’s finishing was the best display of double hitting seen in this tournament so far, in fact remove that aforementioned leg from the analysis and his double percentage would have been 71.42% over 7 sets!
This latest victory was what we’ve come to expect from Price who has arguably been the player of the year during 2020 with 8 titles to his name including three televised titles, the World Grand Prix, the World Series of Darts Finals and the World Cup.
Their Head to Head record is three wins apiece but in their sole meeting in 2020, Price ran out an emphatic 6-0 winner averaging some 22 points higher than his opponent. That was Players Championship 15 on the Autumn Series however not the World Championship.
There’s no doubt that King comes into this match the underdog, yet seems the player more comfortable in the Ally Pally surroundings this year, it’s an intriguing match to call. I’m going for the third seed to pull out all the stops and edge a tight thriller.
In terms of a betting angle on this match it’s a game which is difficult to be confident of any outcome but Price is the better finisher of the two. During 2020 he’s won 15% of his legs on a 100+ finish compared to King at 10% and he’s had the highest checkout in 63% of his matches’ compared to King’s 53%. The ton plus checkouts during this tournament support this too as they are 6-1 in favour of the Welshman.
- Score Prediction: Gerwyn Price 4-3 Mervyn King
- Suggested Bet: Price to win and have the highest checkout (5/4)
- Head to Head: 5-2
- 2020 Meetings: 1-1
- PDC Titles this Season: 0-1 (TV: 0-1)
- Career PDC Titles: 15-1 (TV: 0-1)
- PDC World Championship Appearances: 9-5
- PDC World Championship Best: Quarter Final (2017, 2019) – Quarter Final (2018, 2020)
Dave Chisnall was the last man through to the Last 16 with a 4-2 victory last night against Danny Noppert. He trailed 2-0 in that match but somehow you always thought he’d advance, he looked the better player throughout and it took some terrific finishing from Noppert to race into a two set lead, winning all six of the opening legs.
Free scoring ‘Chizzy’ hit eleven 180’s in 20 legs of darts and his Dutch opponent couldn’t match him. He won twelve of the next fourteen legs to win four successive sets and claim victory with a 99.69 average.
He was also a slow starter in his 3-1 opening victory against Keegan Brown but similar comments apply. On that occasion he averaged 97.35 and hit just the six 180 in 19 legs of darts but on this occasion he backed this up with eleven 140’s.
His tournament average stands at 98.56 (4 points above his seasonal average of 94.11), he has a whopping 0.44 180 per leg ratio and an excellent 42.59% record on his doubles.
These look statistics of a player capable of winning this event but we say that so often with the ‘nearly man’ in the majors. His record this year in them isn’t great too with an agonising semi-final defeat to Gerwyn Price in the Semi-Final of the World Grand Prix as close as he got as yet he again he spurned match darts to triumph.
If he is to advance to a career equalling best Quarter Final this year then he needs to overcome a players who’s looked just as impressive, if not more, the 2020 World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van Den Bergh.
A player who seems to thrive on stage he opened his campaign with a 105.61 average and 3-0 demolition job of Paul Lim. He then backed that up with another victory to nil, disposing of Jermaine Wattimena 4-0 this time with a 96.63 average, which is all the better considering he average just 82.07 in the opening set.
Whilst his 180 prowess doesn’t quite match that of Chisnall, he still is hitting them for fun himself so far with 10 in 27 legs of darts, a ratio of 0.37 per leg. His tournament average is higher at 100.01 and his doubles percentage is a massive 48.84%. This latter is not surprising at all when you consider in his two matches thus far he’s checked out 18 of his 19 attempts at outshots of 80 or below.
It’s all been relatively stress free for ‘Dancing Dimitri’, in fact no player has played fewer legs to reach this stage of the competition but this looks to be his toughest assignment to date. This in fact promises to be a classic and I can imagine it going all the way, to a high standard pretty much like the Van Gerwen v Cullen match last night.
‘Chizzy’ leads the head to head 5-2 overall but it’s 1-1 this year. Given the young Belgian’s has also made the Quarter Final of the UK Open, a Grand Slam and World Cup semi final this year too in big majors I’m taking him to get over the line and win a thriller in a 180 fest of a match.
- Score Prediction: Dave Chisnall 3-4 Dimitri Van Den Bergh
- Suggested Bet: Van Den Bergh to win and Chisnall to hit the most 180’s at 9/4.
To help you with your bets throughout the tournament, here are some excellent statistical graphs for every player in the field from Darts Tracker creator and Sporting Life contributor Carl Fletcher (@CarlyFletch & @Darts_Tracker on Twitter), while there is an additional graphic at the bottom charting each player’s frequency of bringing up the ‘Match Treble’ in PDC events this season. That is when they win, throw most 180s and hit the highest checkout. You can read more about Carl’s research on that by clicking here.
NB: Averages & 180 per leg data covers events except World Grand Prix (which is double-start and distorts figures), 100+ checkout % is all events, and doubles percentage is stage events only (majors and European Tour) because definitive double stats for Players Championship events aren't available.
More World Darts Championship content
- World Championship draw & schedule
- Carl Fletcher's 'what the stats say' preview
- Paul Nicholson's Ally Pally picks
- Carl Fletcher's Super Six Outsiders
- Carl Fletcher's Match Treble Masters
- James Cooper's Quarter masters
- Watch: All the World Championship nine-darters
- 2020 Premier League results
- 2020 PDC event calendar & results
- Sky Bet's darts odds