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World Matchplay Darts - PDC: Quarter-finals preview

Thursday and Friday sees the World Matchplay quarter-finals played on the Winter Gardens stage at Blackpool, with the second-biggest ranking tournament in darts reaching the business end.

A repeat of last year's final will kick off the last eight as Peter Wright faces Dimitri Van den Bergh, before Michael van Gerwen takes on Nathan Aspinall in the second quarter-final on Thursday.

On Friday, there will be an all-Dutch clash between Dirk van Duijvenbode and Danny Noppert before Gerwyn Price faces Jose de Sousa.

What

World Matchplay Darts

Where

Winter Gardens, Blackpool

When

Saturday 16th - July-Sunday 24th July

How to watch

Sky Sports Main Event and Action

Odds

Michael van Gerwen 10/3, Gerwyn Price 7/2, Peter Wright 4/1, Dimitri Van den Bergh 11/2, Dirk van Duijvenbode 8/1

Wright set to be pushed once more

The first quarter-final contest is a very intriguing one, given that it is a repeat of last year's final and also contains the two previous winners of the tournament.

World number one Wright wasn't really pushed by Madars Razma in his first-round win but that certainly wasn't the case against Krzysztof Ratajski in round two with the Pole forcing "Snakebite" to win by virtue of a tie break.

Indeed, it looked as though Wright had blown his opportunity with a spate of missed doubles, but he eventually came through to win.

Van den Bergh's quest for a second Matchplay crown has been much more serene following an easy win against Callan Rydz and a comfortable 11-6 triumph against Rowby-John Rodriguez.

Wright's form this year has been nothing the like end of 2021 where he won the World Championship, Matchplay, and Players Championship Finals.

The 52-year-old displayed some vulnerability against Ratajski but the mark of a true champion is coming through big games when not playing at 100 per-cent.

Van den Bergh - defending his winning prize money from two years ago - is a man in form though with two World Series titles to his name in the last couple of months and this promises to be very tight - Wright is 4/5 to win with the Belgian 1/1.

Van Gerwen and Aspinall set for mega clash

On paper, Michael van Gerwen and Nathan Aspinall looks like a mouth-watering prospect with both players big crowd favourites due to their aggression and energy on the oche.

Van Gerwen ended his long TV major hoodoo last month in the Premier League final and, in theory, that should set him up to challenge for much more in the upcoming busy period.

He just about overcame old rival Adrian Lewis in round one but was much-improved against Joe Cullen in round two as he looks for a first Matchplay title in six years.

Former UK Open winner Aspinall, who is the only unseeded player left at Blackpool, defeated form man Luke Humphries in round one with arguably the best first-round display, before a late surge saw him get past the ever-dangerous James Wade in round two.

This one is likely to produce some big scoring and the result is dependent on who can hold their nerve on the doubles - Van Gerwen is priced at 4/7 to make the semis with Aspinall 11/8.

Related Darts News

World Matchplay - Darts: Preview

World Matchplay - Darts: Steve Davies' Tips

Clash of the styles in Dutch contest

Dirk van Duijvenbode and Danny Noppert face off in Friday's first quarter-final and it is certainly an intriguing one.

Both players operate in different ways - Van Duijvenbode is a rapid-fire thrower and a very feisty, exuberant character on stage, while Noppert is much more methodical in style and poker-faced in terms of emotions.

However, what makes them similar is how brilliantly they have been throwing recently - Van Duijvenbode had the highest average of any player in round one when beating Ryan Searle and he has collected a Pro Tour title this year.

Noppert made his major breakthrough in the UK Open at Minehead in March and that has raised his game to new heights - he has averaged over a ton in both his games at the Matchplay so far and a blind 180 chucked against Daryl Gurney in round two highlighted his increased confidence levels.

This one is very hard to predict and there is literally nothing splitting them in terms of the odds - both players are 10/11 to win, with Noppert 10/1 for a 16-13 success in what could be a tight encounter.

Price hoping to kick-start season

In a similar fashion to Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price's 2022 hasn't exactly gone to plan with a fractured hand hampering his Premier League and Pro Tour campaigns.

The Welshman has only won one two titles in 2022, both of them way back in the spring.

Yet, he has showcased some real class during the Matchplay so far, particularly in his second-round match with Dave Chisnall.

After scraping past Martin Schindler in round one, Price's combination finishing against Chisnall ultimately won him the game - the "Iceman" took out 124, 161, and 164 all on the bull and showed character by the bucketful, winning seven of the last nine legs to advance through.

He comes up against another man who had a below-par year by his standards in Jose de Sousa, but the Portuguese has also chosen a good time and occasion to throw something close to his best darts.

He averaged over 103 in getting past Rob Cross on Wednesday and was visibly emotional as he hit the winning double.

On his day, the "Special One" is an outrageously big scorer and if he can bring that heavy artillery, then Price has a game on his hands.

However, there is a real steeliness to Price's game that saw him become world champion and world number one so it is never a good idea to rule him out completely - Price is 1/2 to win with De Sousa 13/8.

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