By Rod Harrington
Last Updated: 30th December 2019
The semi-finals have come round in this year’s William Hill World Darts Championship and my two tips of making the final, Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price, are still on a collision course to do just that. However, Nathan Aspinall and Peter Wright will certainly have something to say about who contests the final.
MVG had a very slow start against Darius Labanauskas and could have easily been 2-0 down, however, typical of the Dutchman and most multiple TV winners, he found a way to throw the right darts at crucial times to get in front and then push on for the win.
Van Gerwen did say that he found it hard to get up for the game as he needed some niggles to get him going. Well, he will need to make sure he is fired up for Aspinall as he certainly has the game to carry a lead to the end.
Wright played the best game of the tournament so far in the last round, his consistency was top notch and he did not look like missing. He will now play Price, who may need to find a bit extra from his last game to win.
Aspinall made it a tough game after gaining a great lead against Dimitri Van den Bergh, however, he still got over the line with some great finishing legs.
Now we’re down to those semi-finals and what a line-up it is.
First of all, have a couple of quid on the nine-dart leg being hit because we can’t keep getting that close without one finally being hit.
Peter Wright vs Gerwyn Price
Wright is a massive outsider for a two-man race and Snakebite fans will be jumping on the 13/10 because if you look at the way he played on Sunday then perhaps he should be the favourite.
I commentated on the Wright game and talked to him before and after he played. I was very impressed with his performance and attitude, and that could spell danger for Price as his darts were going in at a great angle and if he missed with the first dart then it was mainly going just above, which is perfect for the guide. His checkouts were also outstanding, however, you can’t rely on those big ones all the time. It’s the ones around the 100 that get you over the line and he had a few of them as well.
If Wright performs like he did on Sunday then he wins this, however, will he play at that level if he has to chase the game? That is the big question.
Price does seem fired up to win this and the after-game comments that he wants to beat MVG in the final and rub it in his face could mean a nice bit of banter waiting in that final. However, he does need to get focused on the game in hand and that is to beat Wright.
The one thing that will get Price over the line is a quick start and to keep the pressure and aggression on Wright all the time, then he will test whether Wright can throw the same darts as he did on Sunday under a different kind of pressure.
The stats say a Wright win to me, however, Price will get up for this and a quick lead will make all the difference, so it is such a close call.
With it looking like a very close game we could see around ten or 11 sets.
Michael van Gerwen vs Nathan Aspinall
Van Gerwen should just have too much of a top-end game as his scoring setting up and doubles are just too good for them all when he is on form. However, he will need to find that A game as we have not seen it too much over the last year.
Van Gerwen has won 12 events this year but he has not had to find that A game to win most of them because no-one but Price has stepped their game up.
Aspinall has become such a great player in just over a year, plenty of bottle with a very solid game. His scoring power matches most of them and he certainly will not be scared of going toe-to-toe with MVG. However, can he stick with the relentless top-end game of Van Gerwen? That is the question.
I do believe that MVG will step his game up and win this as he knows how well Aspinall can play. He has the highest respect for him so it will be a totally focused Mighty Mike on Monday.
The sets are at 8.5 – I am positive that the loser will get at least three so definitely go for over at 11/10 on that bet.
My double for Monday night is over 21.5 180s in the Wright vs Price match and over 8.5 sets in the Van Gerwen vs Aspinall game.