Dreammaker could prove a divine bet in Suljovic clash
Dimitri van den Bergh looks a real threat after ousting Bunting and Dekker
Sky Arena, 12.45pm & 7pm
Chris Dobey and Justin Pipe have failed to bring the curtain down on Phil Taylor’s illustrious career and the bookmakers don’t fancy Keegan Brown can either.
Brown is The Power’s round three opponent in the William Hill World Championship at Alexandra Palace tonight and is a 9-1 chance to topple the 16-time world champion.
Alcinas v D Webster
Head-to-head: Webster leads 3-1
Darren Webster beat Toni Alcinas a month ago at the Players Championship finals and beat him well.
The Demolition Man had an extra gear that day in Minehead, and looks as if he has more to offer than Alcinas, who is into new territory. The Mallorcan had not won a match on two previous trips to Alexandra Palace and there were a few signs of nerves as he tried to close out his match with Kevin Munch.
This could be edgy and it would be unwise to rule out any scoreline. Take a punt on one of them freezing and the match being decided in no more than five sets.
Under 5.5 sets
1pt 20-21 BoyleSports
Suljovic v Van den Bergh
Head-to-head: level at 2-2
Belgian boy wonder Dimitri van den Bergh was born to play on the big stage and boasts the game as well as the style to be able to claim the scalp of Mensur Suljovic.
Lady arrers fans have taken a shine to the 23-year-old Dreammaker and he’s taken a shine to Alexandra Palace, averaging 104 to see off Stephen Bunting in round one before showing real tenacity in fending off Jan Dekker.
Fifth seed Suljovic was given a decent test by Robert Thornton in round two and survived, something he has been doing consistently over the course of 2017, which has been a breakthrough year for the amiable Austrian.
Suljovic, in James Wade fashion, has mastered the art of winning matches and boasts a style which seems to fluster opponents. If Van den Bergh can sustain his scoring power, he definitely has the confidence to be able to land big odds.
That scoring power – he has hit 11 maximums compared to Suljovic’s two – also lends itself to a most 180s treble with Rob Cross and Gary Anderson, who play later. The bet works out fractionally better than 6-4 with bet365.
D van den Bergh
1pt 7-4 general
D van den Bergh, R Cross, G Anderson most 180s treble
1pt 23-15 bet365
Henderson v Cross
Head-to-head: Cross leads 2-1
Rob Cross showed his class fending off an almighty challenge from Michael Smith in round two, the type of test that any genuine contender needs to come through.
Having survived that ordeal he can now get the better of Grand Prix semi-finalist John Henderson.
Big John continues to improve and Cross is too short at 1-7. Over 11.5 180s at 5-6 with Betfair stands out given that Cross and Smith combined to produce 29 in round two and Henderson knows how to thump the treble-20 bed.
Over 11.5 180s
2pts 5-6 Betfair
Taylor v Brown
Head-to-head: level at 2-2
The Power goes off a 1-10 chance against unseeded Keegan Brown.
Brown, as is so often the case, played fairly indifferently against Zoran Lerchbacher a round after dumping James Wade, so it’ll be interesting to see how quickly he settles against Taylor. If he doesn’t, a 4-0 romp for the 16-time champ has to be on the cards.
Anderson v West
Head-to-head: Anderson leads 5-1
Steve West, like Keegan Brown, followed up the thrilling defeat of a seed with a really insipid performance in round two, averaging a modest 88 in a low-grade win over Jermaine Wattimena days after looking a million dollars against Benito van de Pas.
He knows, therefore, he can up his game, but this is new territory for the Essex ace and Gary Anderson is throwing like a dream at the moment.
Anderson has won all three meetings against West in 2017 and should complete the four-timer tonight.