Wayne Mardle: Van the man can make like Messi to score underdog win

Will his bets hit the bullseye tonight?

Wayne's all ready to go with his Sunday tips, mixing up his bets in search of profit. But how will he do? Read on to find out

"On his day, van Gerwen is without doubt the best player in the world, bar Phil Taylor. He can be unplayable sometimes, so quick, with a lovely rhythm and capable of extremely heavy scoring."

Back Michael van Gerwen @ 3.7511/4

We have another four games at the World Matchplay to look forward to tonight and the one that gets me really excited is Simon Whitlock versus Michael van Gerwen. What a clash of styles!

On his day, van Gerwen is without doubt the best player in the world, bar Phil Taylor. He can be unplayable sometimes, so quick, with a lovely rhythm and capable of extremely heavy scoring. For me, it's like watching Lionel Messi - you want to see him beat four defenders and score. You want to see him do great things.

Simon Whitlock is a fantastic player, too, but what a contrast with Michael. With Simon you know he is going to average 95 or 96 all night long. He never fails to produce and he never crumbles. A real warrior.

So why is Whitlock as short as 1.364/11 and van gerwen as long as 3.7511/4? Simple really - it all comes down to consistency. Whereas Simon will contest every time, Michael might not turn up. Within two or three legs we'll know whether Michael is there to play or not. It's frustrating because you know what he can do, but you don't know if he'll produce it.

We do know how good he is though as Michael has won two Tour events this year, where Whitlock, James Wade and Adrian Lewis (a 10-0 winner last night) haven't got one between them.

With that in mind, I think Michael is a huge price @ 3.7511/4 to win.

Betfair customers price up the James Wade v Richie Burnett clash exactly the same as Whitlock v van Gerwen and it's another interesting one.

Wade is world-class with seven majors under his belt, and he's still not out of his 20s yet!

Burnett is enjoying a stunning return to form after years in the wilderness and he really is firing - averaging 121 only three weeks ago in an exhibition in Germany. When he is on, he has no threshold, like a golfer who could shoot 58.

If he hits that form he can win, of course, but Wade is some opponent. The world no.3 will always do enough, getting the job done regularly with minimal fuss. I think he'll win but Burnett offers a back-to-lay opportunity. Let's take a chance on him at 3.7511/4; if he's fast out of the blocks we'll lay our stake at even money for a free bet.

A bet I really like earlier on in the card is an under 93.5 average for Kevin Painter. The Artist only averaged 91 in the Premier League and I don't see him setting the oche alight in Blackpool tonight. He could win, but so could Steve Beaton, and I don't have a confident selection in the match odds, but I do want to go low on Kevin's average. The bet of the night for me.

The night begins with Mark Walsh v Colin Osborne and this is going to be so close. The Betfair markets can barely split them, making Walsh 1.981/1 'favourite' over 2.021/1 'underdog' Osborne, and I'm not sure I can either. Preference here would be to back both players to win by 'any other score' - essentially backing a tiebreak.

This will be a tight tussle, in footballing terms a Stoke v Sunderland. One for the darts connoisseur, and there could be deep drama at the end so that's how we'll tailor our betting.

Recommended Bets
Back Michael van Gerwen @ 3.7511/4
Back-to-lay Richie Burnett @ 3.7511/4 (lay your stake at even money)
Back Kevin Painter under 93.5 average @ 1.910/11
Back Mark Walsh to win by any other score @ 7.613/2
Back Colin Osborne to win by any other score @ 7.613/2

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