We have two tips for the final of the PDC World Darts Championship.
Michael van Gerwen vs Peter Wright - 19:15
As the curtain closes on the 2020 PDC World Championship, reigning world champion, Michael van Gerwen goes in search of his fourth PDC World Championship title as he takes on ‘Snakebite’ Peter Wright in a repeat of the 2014 Alexandra Palace final - in which, van Gerwen eased past Wright in a 7-3 victory over the former UK Open champion.
As for the pair’s performances and route to the final, Wright has endured moments of real drama, emotion and producing the goods under severe pressure. In Wright’s opening round clash with Noel Malicdem, the new world no.3 was faced with the prospect of another early elimination from Alexandra Palace before Snakebite really showed his top-class ability, seeing off 302 in just two visits - a superb 162 visit was followed by a roof-raising 140 checkout to force extra-time, in which Wright managed to see out a las-gasp win over the Philippines-based star.
After that hard-fought win over Malicdem, Price’s progression through his 2020 World Championship campaign didn’t get any easier as far as securing victories were concerned. Wright was made to work during his second-round win over another big Asian name in Japan’s Seigo Asada, securing a 3-2 victory over Asada in a high-quality affair.
As Snakebite moved into the last 16, the colorful, vibrant and irrepressible star managed to close out another last-gasp win (4-3) over the impressive Dutch star, Jeffrey de Zwaan. As the tournament progressed, Wright’s level of performance just got better and better. Snakebite’s maximum-hitting ability game-on-game has been remarkably impressive - hitting 12 during his win over de Zwaan.
In the last eight, Wright produced arguably his finest display of the tournament, edging out Luke Humphries (5-3) in a high-quality tungsten tussle. Wright averaged over 110 for large parts of the tie-ending with an average of 105.86, producing another stack at maximums (12).
In an emotionally-charged semi-final, Wright cemented his place in the final for the first time since 2014 as he saw off Gerwyn Price in a convincing 6-3 win. Snakebite really showed his class when the tie was poised at 3-3, producing a high-quality performance in the second-half of the contest, which put Price under immense pressure and the Welshman had no answer for what the new world no.3 was throwing at him, firing in 16 maximums en route.
As for van Gerwen, the world no.1’s route to the final has been much more stress-free, despite the reigning champion not producing his best stuff.
The green machine opened up his campaign with a straightforward 3-1 win over Jelle Klaasen, coming back from a set behind to see off the 2006 BDO World champion. Van Gerwen then followed that up with back-to-back 4-0 whitewash victories over Ricky Evans and Stephen Bunting, despite not really producing the a-game that we’re used to seeing from the three-time world champion.
In the last eight, van Gerwen produced a professional display to see off Lithuania’s Darius Labanauskas - resulting in a 5-2 victory, averaging just under 100 (99.5). The Lithuanian showed moment of quality, but the consistent pressure applied by the world no.1 was just too much for ‘Lucky D' to handle.
In the semi-finals, the green machine was faced with his toughest test yet as he took on Stockport’s UK Open champion, Nathan Aspinall. In a competitive start to the contest, the Stockport ace held firm to level the match at 2-2, before the Dutchman raced into a 4-2 lead before securing a 6-3 victory, despite not really producing his a-game - averaging 96.34 and hitting just three maximums.
The odds are massively stacked against Peter Wright to win his first World Championship crown and van Gerwen will be looking to produce a five-star display to become a world champion for the fourth time.
I recommend two singles for the final. I think it will be a narrow Michael van Gerwen win, with Wright producing the most maximums. Snakebite has struck 30 more maximums than the world no.1 (57 vs 27), and he should fire in more 180s than Michael tonight.