Day four at the Betfred World Matchplay saw Gerwyn Price produce a stunning performance to power past World Cup teammate Jonny Clayton.
it also saw Dimitri Van den Bergh hit 14 maximums, a tournament record for a game before the quarter finals, to see off Dave Chisnall.
Today’s action though could top everything we’ve seen so far, as the final four quarter finalists are decided. On the bill tonight include three former World Champions, two Premier League finalists, a two former PDC semi finalists.
On what looks set to be another scorching day in Blackpool, the action could be red hot on the famous Winter Gardens stage.
Here’s everything you need to know about the four remaining Betfred World Matchplay second round clashes.
Maximums expected in first two games
The first game of the evening sees Michael Smith take on Jose De Sousa, where we could see some high scoring. Bully Boy won 10-7 against Ryan Searle in round one, while The Special cruised past Gabriel Clemens 10-2.
The pair have met three times recently on the TV stage. Smith has won two of them, in the 2020 Grand Slam of Darts group stages, and the 2020 Players Championship Finals. However, the other time was in the Grand Slam quarter finals, where De Sousa won a fantastic game en route to winning his first ever TV title.
Despite Bully Boy not hitting a single 180 in his previous game, both he and The Special One should deliver plenty of maximums in this one. Who will win a place in the quarter finals?
The second game could equally be as good, as Gary Anderson faces Nathan Aspinall. Anderson beat Stephen Bunting 10-5 in the opening round, while Aspinall defeated Mervyn King 10-6.
The Asp has had the better of TV games against The Flying Scotsman. He went undefeated against him in the Premier League this year, and beat him in the last 16 of the 2020 World Darts Championship.
Anderson though is a previous winner of this event, and made the final last year. If both produce their best, we could be set for another power scoring contest. Which one will come through to win?
Van Gerwen and Wright follow in final two games
Michael van Gerwen faces Ian White in the third game on, with both looking to improve on their first round wins. Van Gerwen battled past Damon Heta 10-7, while White beat Daryl Gurney by the same scoreline.
The Green Machine has a good record against Diamond in front of the big cameras. However, White won their last encounter on the stage at the 2020 European Championship.
Will the same happen tonight, and White make just his second quarter final at the World Matchplay in 10 attempts? Or will Van Gerwen make the last eight for the first time since 2017?
The final game sees Peter Wright take on Joe Cullen, in what could be another belter. Wright beat Danny Noppert 10-2 in round one, while Cullen battled past Chris Dobey 10-8.
The Rockstar is yet to beat Snakebite in a TV major event, and lost to him in the first round of the 2016 World Matchplay. Both have been exceptional on the Pro Tour this year though, and Cullen was very bullish about Wright’s claims before the tournament that he would win it after his round one victory.
Will he break his TV hoodoo and make the last eight of this tournament for the first time since 2018? Or will Wright continue to back his claims up and claim the final quarter place?
World Matchplay Day Five Schedule of Play
Wednesday 21 July (19.00 BST)
Second round x4
Michael Smith v Jose De Sousa
Gary Anderson v Nathan Aspinall
Michael van Gerwen v Ian White
Peter Wright v Joe Cullen
How can I follow the Betfred World Matchplay?
The Betfred World Matchplay will be live on Sky Sports in the UK. You can also watch it outside the UK via the PDC’s broadcast partners, such as RTL or DAZN.
You can also live stream the event. Find out more here.
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