Van Barneveld can keep Van Gerwen busy
Taylor faces injured Anderson
Sky Sports Arena, 12.45pm & 7pm Friday
M van Gerwen v R van Barneveld Evening session
Head-to-head: Van Gerwen leads 31-18
Odds-on title favourite Michael van Gerwen survived a wobble against Gerwyn Price to book his place in the last eight of the William Hill World Championship and his reward is an all-Dutch dust-up against Raymond van Barneveld.
There's no doubt Van Gerwen was rattled by Price in round three and it could be a similar story against Barney.
Price had darts to take a 3-2 set lead against Van Gerwen at the Alexandra Palace on Wednesday night and although Mighty Mike rallied to take the match 4-2 MVG's vulnerability was there for all to see.
There was major trouble on the double for MVG – just 33 per cent of his finishing darts hit the target – and that has been the case on a few occasions when the Dutchman has been put under the pump.
Van Gerwen scores so heavily that his doubles aren't often pressured, but he could find it difficult to dominate Van Barneveld and that may give the five-time world champion a chance.
Barney doesn't fear MVG as he showed when stopping the Green Machine at the last-16 stage two years ago. MVG knows that and his comments after the victory over Price were quite interesting.
Van Gerwen suggested that Van Barneveld would struggle to match the 115 average that Mighty Mike produced to beat him in the semi-final last year.
That could well be true but the fact MVG feels the need to mention it suggests he may not be as confident of reaching those heights as he lets on.
Either way, Barney is playing well enough to cause Van Gerwen problems. A near 50 per cent checkout rate and an average of 101 limited a confident Vincent van der Voort to just nine darts at a double in the previous round and his average was 103 prior against the very capable Kyle Anderson.
Van Barneveld can be supported at 7-10 getting a 3.5 start in this best-of-nine set contest and that looks well worth taking.
R van Barneveld +3.5 sets
2pts 7-10 BetBright
P Taylor v G Anderson Evening session
Head-to-head: Taylor leads 39-17
Phil Taylor has leapfrogged Gary Anderson in the betting for the William Hill World Championship after the Scot appeared to be suffering with a back injury as they prepare for their quarter-final clash at Alexandra Palace.
A fully-fit Anderson would have been a solid favourite against The Power, who is playing in his final world championship before retiring.
But after watching the Scot wincing through his 4-2 third-round triumph against Steve West – a match in which he missed 11 match darts – bookmakers installed Taylor the 10-11 favourite for their last-eight showdown.
Anderson was complaining of back problems a few weeks ago but he didn’t appear to be in any discomfort during his earlier triumphs against Jeff Smith and Paul Lim.
However if Anderson is any way inconvenienced, he is highly unlikely to beat Taylor.
The Power is 17-20 with Betfair to oust Anderson, who has drifted to 21-20.
D van den Bergh v R Cross Afternoon session
Head-to-head: no previous meetings
Dimitri van den Bergh and Rob Cross have lit up Alexandra Palace and the pair are expected to star once again.
Dancing Dimitri has accounted for Stephen Bunting, Jan Dekker and Mensur Suljovic, while Rob Cross has dismissed Seigo Asada, Michael Smith and John Henderson.
It’s uncharted territory now – this is Van den Bergh’s first time past the second round and it’s Cross’s first competitive visit at the north London venue.
However, the pair look likely to rack up the maximums. Betfair make it a 4-5 chance that at least 18 180s are posted in this first-to-five contest and that makes plenty of appeal.
Voltage has managed 29 180s in the 15 sets he has contested, while the Dreammaker had notched 17 in 14 sets. Those are pretty impressive figures and lots of maximums look likely in a closely contested last-eight battle.
Over 17.5 180s
1pt 4-5 Betfair
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