It's the final showdown at the Ally Pally as the PDC World Darts Championship concludes for another year. Dan Fitch is banking on Michael van Gerwen seeing off a spirited Peter Wright...
"Wright hit 16 180s to Van Gerwen’s three in the semi-finals."
Michael van Gerwen 1.392/5 v Peter Wright 3.55/2
Wednesday 1st Jan, 19:15
Live on Sky Sports Darts
The final of the 2020 PDC World Darts Championship takes place at the Alexandra Palace on New Year's Day. It's a repeat of the 2014 final which saw Michael van Gerwen beat Peter Wright 7-4.
Wright will hope to better than on that occasion and his form suggests that he should, but such is the class of Van Gerwen that he is still the comfortable favourite. MVG trades at 1.392/5 to become world champion for a fourth time, with this column having tipped him at 1.738/11 to make the final before a dart was thrown.
We assumed that Gerwyn Price would be waiting for him, but he was seen off by Wright in the semi-final. Wright is now 3.55/2 to win this tournament for the first time.
'Snakebite' the man in form
Wright has been superb in both the quarter-final and semi-final. He averaged 105.86 to beat Luke Humphries in the quarters, which is the second highest recorded at this year's tournament.
The Scot then handled the big occasion in a fiery semi against Price, landing a mammoth 16 180s in a 6-3 win. It was a match in which Wright was the underdog for the first time in the tournament and now he must prove that he can upset the biggest talent in the game.
History says he won't. Of their 78 encounters, Wright has won 17 (D2 L59). He was beaten 11-10 in a tight final of the Champions League of Darts back in October, which extended Wright's poor record in finals of the majors. His 2017 UK Open win remains his only major victory, which is strange for a player of such ability. He has lost all ten of his other final appearances.
MVG yet to hit top gear on way to the final
Van Gerwen has been on cruise control in the tournament so far, with no opponent truly extending him.
Nathan Aspinall was the player expected to give him the biggest test in the semi-final, but after a good start 'The Asp' faded away and failed to produce anywhere near his best in a 6-3 defeat to Van Gerwen. You sense that Van Gerwen could have won all of his matches more convincingly, with lapses of concentration enabling the opposition to take legs off him, almost as if the lack of challenge bores him.
If Wright can hit the level of the last two rounds, then Van Gerwen will need to be at his best. Van Gerwen will be confident that his dominant record and Wright's major final jinx will ensure that he prevails.
Van Gerwen should win, but Wright can score heavy
Given the form we've seen from these players this week, then Van Gerwen should be at a bigger price than 1.392/5. As such there could be value in backing Wright from a trading perspective at 3.55/2, with the recent Champions League of Darts final between the pair providing hope of a close match.
One way to boost the price of an MVG win is to back Wright to score the most 180s and lose the match at 1.84/5. Wright hit 16 to Van Gerwen's three in the semi-finals. You can get odds of 1.834/5 for there to be over 24.5 180s.
Van Gerwen's average has only gone into three figures on one occasion over the tournament. Wright should score heavily enough to see the Dutch master pass 99.5 at 1.834/5. Wright is the same price to record an average of over 97.5, which he has done in his last two matches.
Dan Fitch Darts P/L 2020
Staked: 45.00 pts
Returned: 50.31 pts
P/L: +5.31 pts
Back Wright to have the most 180s and lose the game at 1.84/5
Back Van Gerwen average to be over 99.5 at 1.834/5