PDC World Matchplay 2017 – 1st Round – Darts Preview – The PDC returns with the BetVictor World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. The World Matchplay is one of the most highly coveted and prestigious trophies that is available on the PDC Circuit.
Michael van Gerwen returns after beating Dave Chisnall, 8-0, in the final of the Shanghai Masters to continue his rampant reign at the top of the PDC. Adrian Lewis also returns after an injury that has seen him out of PDC action for while.
The first-round draw is mouth-watering- nay, breath-taking for any darts fans with a Sky Sports subscription. The 32-man tournament will take place over 8 days with the final on 30th July 2017; so, stock up your fridge with plenty of beer.
Here are just some of the first-round fixtures that will take place from Saturday 22nd July (schedule of play still to be decided):
Michael van Gerwen vs Steven Bunting
The Dutch dartsman will climb off his darting throne to face Steven Bunting who will know he stands very little chance. The dominance of Michael van Gerwen in the darting world is almost inconceivable and yet he makes it look so simple every time the ‘Green Machine’ pops on our TV screens. Bunting hasn’t been in the best of form during 2017 and has seen his gradual decline down the PDC Order of Merit continue its momentum. The current Matchplay Champion shouldn’t break a sweat.
Simon Whitlock vs Kyle Anderson
Facing each other for the first ever time at a televised event, it’s the battle of the Aussies in arguably the closest match of the first round. Having only joined forces last month at the World Cup of Darts, Anderson and Whitlock will know each other very well which makes the match ever more compelling. Whitlock is the higher ranked, however has struggled to get a rhythm as of late. Anderson is still yet to reach the shining lights we all know he is capable of but both will be massively up for this contest. Whitlock should just have the edge over his fellow countryman.
Phil Taylor vs Gerwyn Price
Phil Taylor is undoubtedly the king of the World Matchplay, having lifted the trophy 15 times; with Michael van Gerwen currently 13 Matchplay titles behind. Taylor will be wanting to succeed in this tournament as his announced retirement at the end of the calendar year is drawing ever closer. Gerwyn Price has been enjoying his darts a lot lately and will be able to provide a shock if Taylor isn’t at his best; would be a good bet for the longshotters. ‘The Power’ will have the crowd behind him and that should be enough to beat the Welshman.