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PDC World Championships – Quarter Final Preview

December 31, 2009

There is no better way to start the New Year than with some top arrows. This year the PDC have superbly scheduled the four World Championships Quarter Finals for the afternoon and evening of January 1st 2010, with the semis the following day and the final on Sunday 3rd.

The tournament has seen much drama already over its first three rounds, with many fancied seeds falling at each stage. But the real business starts now: the last 8.

AFTERNOON SESSION

Co Stompe v Mark Webster

The Webster - Stompe (pictured) match is tough to call

Both players are scoring highly and have knocked out decent opponents so far: Webster saw off 2008 finalist Kirk Shepherd (who had beaten his ’08 conquerer, John Part, in round 2) and Stompe has beaten much-fancied Mervyn King and the overrated, but competent, Mark ‘Flash’ Dudbridge in a stunning spell of tungsten-throwing on Wednesday afternoon.

Webster has won the BDO world title, so knows what it takes to deal with pressure. Stompe is a seasoned pro who has hit the best form of his career, albeit only over 4 sets. This battle is one of the hardest to call.

The Videprinter Prediction: Webster. Just.

Simon Whitlock v James Wade

Premier League champion James Wade has often failed to perform at the Worlds - BBC

The Wizard of Oz versus The Machine. Another potential classic, Wade should be favourite, as reigning Premier League champion and world number 3. But he has staggered towards the quarters, needing a final set against Andy Hamilton yesterday and coming within a half-inch of going out: Hamilton narrowly missing double 18 for what would have been a stunning finish.

By contrast, Whitlock has been magnificent, easily seeing off Colin Osborne and Wayne Jones before beating world number 5 Terry Jenkins 4-2 yesterday, averaging over 100 each round.

If Wade turns up, he could win comfortably. But he has been inconsistent so far, and an in-form Whitlock will punish him if he brings his B game to the table once again.

The Videprinter Prediction: Whitlock to progress.

EVENING SESSION

Raymond van Barneveld v Ronnie Baxter

The 5-time champion has yet to hit top form, though defeated ‘The Artist’ Kevin Painter comfortably last night despite looking visibly uncomfortable – he has, it transpired, been suffering from diabetes.

van Barneveld has been struggling with diabetes - BBC


Baxter, on the other hand, has been excellent throughout and took little time to beat Colin Lloyd in round 3.

Barneveld did, of course, hit a 9-darter in round 2 – a reminder of what he is capable of. Since his 7-6 victory over Taylor in the final of the 2007 championships though, he has not looked at his best and this run could continue in another game that is tricky to call.

The Videprinter Prediction: Baxter – in a classic.

Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis

Sky Sports have been using this match to promote the 1/4 final stage since 14-time champion Taylor beat Robert Thornton and Lewis beat Kevin McDine in the third round two days ago.

Taylor, until 2007, taught Lewis how to improve his game in their hometown Stoke-on-Trent, but so far little of the master’s genius has rubbed off on the apprentice.

Taylor (pictured) takes on Lewis: will the master beat the apprentice?- BBC

Now, Lewis faces the bigest match of his career to date; for Taylor, this is just another quarter final, albeit one against a man in form. Lewis is hitting the board well – but for Taylor, that goes without saying.

A superb way to round off the quarter-final stage and see in the New Year.

The Videprinter Prediction: Taylor, comfortably.

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