Jelle Klassen and Mervyn King resolve the end of round two, and the last time the pair met in a World Championship was the time Klassen was crowned champion at Lakeside ten years ago. Klassen is no bigger than 4-7 and 8-13 with firms and the way he has been playing he could take out King, who has endured back issues and has not been the same ruthless King we had got to know over the last few years. Remember the format is still a best of seven sets as well as the third round, so no changes on the format.
Michael Smith will be facing Big Ben Benito van de Pas to determine who faces the winner of van Gerwen and Barney in Friday's quarter-final. Smith leads the head to head 4-3 and comes up well fancied by the compilers. Neither players have shown their total A game as yet, and neither have they needed to on this marathon tourney. I will expect some heavy scoring but cannot see past Smith bagging the most 180s although this is just 3-10 with the magic sign.
James Wade looks to get a step closer to supremacy by beating Jamie Caven. The machine made fairly light work of Wes Newton, but barely had to get out of second gear to get over the line. Wade showed he is scoring well again, and expect the Machine to reign supreme by hitting the most maximums in the tie and is evens to do so. No disrespect to Caven, he is not netting the maximums he is capable of, so may be worth taking Wade on the over line, which is 10-11 with Stan James for five or more. Expect Caven to put up a fight and take a few legs, so the longer this game goes on the better chance for us.
Coral offer us a banker of 8-11 that Lewis beats the 180 count over Suljovic shortly after 7pm tonight. Lewis opened with a maximum, but we do know Mensur’s style of throw can upset the rhythm. Suljovic to win this will need to be clinical with his checkouts, like he was pocketing 160 in the very first leg in the last round and can produce a similar performance by bagging another. Mensur will have chances and will need to take these chances out.
Barney has been in modest form recently, and his junior MVG will have the mileage to see his old mate off tonight. Barney does step up to the plate when he has to and I feel that MVG will have too many ace cards to outwit the veteran thrower. MVG has thrown 13 maximums in 33 legs opposed to Barneys 6 in 46 legs. Betfair offer a gift of a price at 7-10 for MVG to hit two more than Barney and boosted to evens with Coral to land three or more than Barney!
M Smith and A Lewis -1.5 180s – 4-5 Betfair (5pts)
J Wade over 4.5 180s – 10-11 Stan James (1.5 pts)
A Lewis -3.5 180s v Suljovic – 8-11 Coral (1.5pts)
MVG -1.5 180s v Barney – 7-10 Betfair (3pts)