Jaymes Monte picks out his best bet from the final round of group fixtures at the Grand Slam of Darts...
"Lewis isn’t the type of player that you want to be backing in a dead-rubber match"
To win two world titles, in successive years, yet still be criticised for underachieving, gives you an idea of just how talented a darts player Adrian Lewis is.
Probably the most talented player ever to pick up a set of darts, certainly one of the most pleasing on the eye when in full flow, Jackpot seemingly has the world of darts at his fingertips. Quite literally. But he cannot take that final step and grasp it with both hands.
Preparation and application are two concepts that are regularly thrown at Lewis in criticising his relative lack of success in the game. When he prepares properly and/or applies himself fully at a major tournament he invariably reaches, at least, the last four. Back-to-back world titles are testament to that, although I would hasten to add that he was far from his best at Ally Pally last year.
Tonight's opponent Gary Anderson alluded to the fact that Lewis is doing too many exhibitions, and suggested that the world number two should take a short break from the game completely. I don't know anyone, other than Lewis's bank manager, that wouldn't agree with the Scotsman's assessment.
A narrow 5-4 defeat to Tony O'Shea in his opening match this week was perhaps a touch unfortunate, but the 78.35 three-dart average that accompanied his 5-2 loss to John Part on Monday was not becoming of a current world champion.
Anderson, meanwhile, has both battled and scored well this week. Two 5-4 victories, coming from behind in each, show that he has rediscovered the desire to win darts matches, while a tournament average of 95.9 shows that he is also playing well.
Lewis isn't the type of player that you want to be backing in a dead-rubber match, least of all when he is displaying the kind of form he has shown in recent months.
It may not be a case of Lewis having a lot of work to do if he wants to make it three consecutive world titles, quite the opposite may be true. As Anderson has suggested, perhaps a few weeks away from the oche is what he needs.
Back Anderson to beat Lewis @ 1.910/11