Grand Slam of Darts Tips: Long matches the order of the night in Wolverhampton
We've reached the quarter-final stage of the Grand Slam of Darts, and after tipping Simon Whitlock to beat Peter Wright and the Smith/Van Gerwen match to go the distance, Tom Beresford returns to preview tonight's action...
"In terms of the tournament so far, there's no separating the pair in the statistics. Whitlock's average for the tournament is 97.15 compared to Price's 96.71."
Dimitri and Mensur to slug it out
Dimitri van den Bergh v Mensur Suljovic
Live on Sky Sports
This match could be an absolute classic. Dimitri van den Bergh is on cloud nine following his 10-6 victory over Stephen Bunting as the 24-year-old Belgian produced a spectacular nine-dart finish in the penultimate leg of the match.
This evening, Van den Bergh faces a very tough test as he comes up against Austrian Mensur Suljovic.
In terms of head-to-head, the pair are inseparable with the shares spoiled in their six meetings. The young Belgian enjoyed a fantastic 4-0 victory over Suljovic at the World Championship last December, but that was of course in set play. Suljovic recorded an 8-4 victory over Van den Bergh at the German Darts Masters back in May.
As for the Grand Slam so far, Van den Bergh has a tournament average of 94.78 compared to Suljovic's 94.37. In addition, Van den Bergh has the highest first nine-dart average out of tonight's quarter-finalists with a 108.68. In terms of scoring, I really think that it will be hard to separate them.
Without a shadow of doubt Suljovic's finishing game is one of the best in world darts, and the Austrian has a tournament checkout rate of 47.83% to Van den Bergh's 35.82%. I really fancy this match to go deep, so backing over 27.5 legs at 4/5 is the call.
Another tight game expected between group rivals
Simon Whitlock v Gerwyn Price
Live on Sky Sports
In the second last-eight clash in Wolverhampton, we may have an absolute blockbuster of a game on our hands in what is a rematch from the group phase as Simon Whitlock and Gerwyn Price collide. And if their encounter from the group phase is anything to go by, then we'll be in for a treat this evening.
Whitlock battled back from 4-1 behind to edge out the Welshman 5-4 to stay alive in group F. The Aussie fired in two 170 checkouts in what was a fantastic revival. But yet again it's nearly impossible to separate these two,
With Whitlock's victory over Price on Monday evening, the Aussie edges the head-to-head meetings by a 6-5 scoreline. But prior to that, Price has had the better of the Wizard on the last two occasions over a longer format, and Price will feel that he's got every chance of progressing to the semi-finals.
In terms of the tournament so far, there's no separating the pair in the statistics. Whitlock's average for the tournament is 97.15 compared to Price's 96.71, even in the first nine-dart averages there isn't much of a discrepancy, Price just edges it with a 106.15 compared to Whitlock's 105.56.
But, in many of the closely contested matches in this tournament, the checkout statistics could be the most important. Whitlock has a more superior checkout rate with 40.38% compared to Price's 34.78%. Like the first quarter-final I fancy this match to go a long way and once again the over 27.5 legs bet - which is available at 8/11 - makes the most appeal.