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Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Barney in for a battle against Lennon

Gurney may also struggle

Raymond van Barneveld produced a stunning display against Peter Wright
1 of 1

Sky Sports Action & Main Event, 7.45pm Tuesday

Dutch darting demigod Raymond van Barneveld is predicting what the bookies aren’t and that’s a real battle against Irish upstart Steve Lennon at the Grand Slam of Darts.

Punters are advised to listen to the five-time world champ rather than the layers.

Barney, who has won both of his Group B encounters, averaging 98-plus against Jamie Hughes and Gerwyn Price, is expecting a tough scrap against the impressive Lennon, yet the lowlands legend is long odds-on.

He may well triumph but a hammering is unlikely, especially given the form shown by Lennon in his 5-0 demolition of Hughes which has given him a genuine chance of a place in the last 16.

Lennon getting a start of 2.5 legs looks the way to go.

If he can win the bull, Barney would have to break him at least twice – and that’s a tough task in best-of-nine.

Another outsider who can give a favourite a scrap is Darren Webster, who takes on Group D pacesetter Daryl Gurney.

Webster lost his opener to his namesake Mark but is dangerous when cornered and it was no surprise that he responded with a 5-2 win against Danny Noppert in which he averaged over 103.

Webster will presume he needs to win to stay in the competition – he could actually go through with a defeat but there’s no way he would be planning for that – so expect to see him at his most competitive.

A handicap bet on the outsider is recommended. Six-time champion Phil Taylor needs three legs against James Wade to ease into the last 16 while the Machine needs the win, although there is a way the left-hander could lose and qualify. Given the way they are playing,

The Power is hard to oppose.

S Lennon +2.5
3pts 8-11 BoyleSports, Coral, Hills
D Webster +1.5
2pts 11-10 general

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If he can win the bull, Barney would have to break him at least twice – and that’s a tough task in best-of-nine
E.W. Terms
Sky bet