World Matchplay darts: Day six predictions, odds, betting tips, accas, order of play & TV times

Who will reach the World Matchplay semi-finals?
Who will reach the World Matchplay semi-finals?

Our guide for Thursday's action at the World Matchplay includes the order of play, match-by-match predictions, Sky Bet odds and a suggested double.

Now it gets really serious at the Winter Gardens as we enter the quarter-final stages, where the format becomes a whole lot longer to suit the mentally strong and most consistent performers.

This is why only the very best players have gone on to lift this famous trophy but with only one previous champion left in the field - James Wade - we could see a new name landing the second biggest prize in darts.

Wade faces Michael van Gerwen's conqueror Glen Durrant in the first of tonight's two quarter-finals - which are played over a best of 31 legs - while Michael Smith is in the other against Mervyn King, who dumped out the defending champion Gary Anderson on that dramatic Tuesday night.

Here, I'll run through both games and throw in some predictions, best bets as usual.

World Matchplay: Thursday July 25

Click on the odds for more Sky Bet match markets

  • TV Coverage: Sky Sports (1900 BST)
  • Quarter-Finals: Best of 31 legs

Michael Smith (4/11) v Mervyn King (11/5)

Head-to-head: 6-7
2019 Meetings: 0-0
PDC Titles this season: 0-0
Career PDC Titles: 11-8

This is very much a clash between a player who many would have expected to be here and another who wasn't.

Mervyn King was a 250/1 rank outsider at the start of the week but has rolled back the years to remind everyone why he reached nine major PDC finals during the height of his powers - the Premier League (2009), Masters (2014), World Grand Prix (2012), Players Championship Finals (2010) and the now discontinued Championship League (2008).

The unseeded 53-year-old, playing on the Winter Gardens stage for a 13th successive year, first defied a 104 average from UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall to triumph 10-5 in the opening round before punishing Gary Anderson's lack of consistency to send the defending champion packing.

That's to take nothing away from the King, who dug deep and won four legs on the spin from 8-7 down including a match-winning 90 checkout to claim a famous scalp.

However, this is most likely to be a step to far against one of the most naturally gifted players in the game, who is hungry to finally justify the hype and land his maiden major title.

The exits of Anderson and van Gerwen in what looked to be a daunting half of the draw from the onset means this has tuned into a golden opportunity for the 2019 World Championship and 2018 Premier League runner-up and having tipped him at 25/1 each-way before a dart was thrown, I'm hardly going to lose faith now.

Bully Boy, considerably the younger man at 28, is more used to the mental pressures of the longer televised matches in recent times and this should be a significant advantage should it be a close affair.

That said, I do expect the St Helens man to triumph fairly comfortably and lay down a significant marker in the process.

In Sky Bet's Player Performance market you can get 4/1 on him winning, scoring over 8.5 180s and having a checkout of over 126.5 which should be more than achievable if well over 20 legs are played.

Prediction: 16-10

Best Bet: Michael Smith to win the match, score over 8.5 180s and checkout over 126.5

Glen Durrant (8/11) v James Wade (11/10)

Head-to-head: 0-0
2019 Meetings: 0-0
PDC Titles this season: 2-4
Career PDC Titles: 2-34

Glen Durrant has already won a moral final of sorts this week as he defeated MVG in the battle of the three-time world champions to emphatically silence any remaining doubters about whether he could mix it with the best in the PDC.

It was such a memorable, tension-filled night of high drama that will no doubt be replayed many times over in years to come so his tearful celebrations are completely forgivable even though it was 'just' a second-round match.

Afterwards an emotional Duzza said: "Whatever happens from now on in my career this moment will never be taken away from me," but really this could be more of a springboard to greatness rather than a stand alone achievement.

Not only had he done incredibly well just to qualify for Blackpool in his first season on the PDC circuit in spite of all the pressure heaped on his shoulders after finally leaving the BDO, he's now proved he can transfer his world-class talents to the second biggest stages of them all.

The three-time Lakeside king, who has already won a pair of Players Championship titles this season, is now 5/1 third favourite to lift the Phil Taylor Trophy at the first attempt having started the week at 33/1 while his World Championship odds are also tumbling as I type.

But to reach the last four at the Winter Gardens, Durrant will need to retain the same levels of intensity he showed against MVG when he faces one of the greatest battlers in the game, who has twice fought back from the brink without playing anywhere near his best.

James Wade survived five match darts against Jeffrey de Zwaan before coming through a sudden death leg in round one before keeping his composure in a titanic duel with Mensur Suljovic that went into tie break legs.

The European and World Series of Darts Finals champion, who has won four PDC titles this season, was 8-5 down but typically punished his opponent's missed doubles to claw his way back into the contest that he won 13-11.

Wade may have used plenty of his lives up while carnage was going on around him in this half of the draw but worryingly for Durrant and the rest of the remaining field, he's probably now due to weigh in with a couple of big performances as he senses another big prize.

I can't see this clash doing anything other than going the distance - just like Wade's other two matches and Duzza's epic with MVG.

In Sky Bet's correct score market, you can back Durrant winning by 'any other scoreline', which effectively means any tie-break score or sudden death leg victory, at 10/1 and Wade at 12/1. A small stake on both then sit back and enjoy what should be a gripping contest.

Prediction: 17-15

Best Bet: Durrant to win in a tie break at 10/1 and Wade to win in a tie break at 12/1

Thursday's darts double

Schedule for Friday July 25

Friday July 26 (1900 BST)
Quarter-Finals (Best of 31 legs)
TV Channel: Sky Sports

  • Rob Cross v Stephen Bunting
  • Peter Wright v Daryl Gurney

Full World Championship draw and schedule

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