It's the final of the 2021 PDC World Championship and Dan Fitch has his money on Gerwyn Price beating Gary Anderson in a tight match...
"Price has made life tougher for himself, but there’s no one better right now at handling the pressure. He keeps finding a way to win, even if he experiences a dip."
PDC World Championship Final
Sunday 3 January
Live on Sky Sports Darts
Gary Anderson 2.1411/10 v Gerwyn Price 1.865/6
Start time, 19:50
We should have a match fitting the occasion, when Anderson takes on Price in the final of the 2021 PDC World Championship.
This will be Anderson's fifth World Championship final and he's won two of them. As you might expect from a player with nothing to prove, he's looking very relaxed.
There is much more at stake for Price. It's his first final and he's desperate to become World Champion. Should he do so, Price will also overtake Michael van Gerwen in the rankings to become the world number one.
As is fitting for a player that's played with the consistency to get themselves into such a position, Price is the favourite at 1.865/6. Anderson was ranked at number 13 before the tournament, but there are clearly not twelve better players in the world than the 'Flying Scotsman' when he's at his best and that's reflected by the relatively close odds, with the outsider priced at 2.1411/10.
Tale of the tape
There have been 15 matches between Anderson and Price since they first met in 2014. It's Anderson that has the slight advantage in head-to-head meetings, with eight victories to Price's seven.
You might think that Anderson would have won the majority of the early encounters and Price the most of the later games, but victories have been fairly evenly spread out between the two. In 2020 they played four times, with Anderson winning two matches in February, including a 10-2 win at the Masters and Price coming out on top in the two Premier League games.
This is the second time that they have met in a final. Price beat Anderson 16-13 in a bad tempered encounter to lift the Grand Slam of Darts, back in 2018.
In the semi-finals they recorded very similar three-dart averages, with Price's being slightly higher in his 6-4 victory over Stephen Bunting at 100.92, compared to Anderson's 100.03, as he beat Dave Chisnall 6-3. There was a bigger difference when it came to finishing, with Price having a 47.17% checkout percentage, with Anderson's down at 36.67%.
Anderson was not happy with his performance after his semi-final win. He's recorded a checkout percentage of over 50% in both of the previous two rounds and he will want to get back to that standard.
Price's finishing ability will see him through
In terms of numbers the performances of these two competitors are very close, so we should expect a tight match. It's a best of 13-sets match and you can back it to go over 11.5 sets at 2.265/4. Over 44.5 legs is 5/6 on the Sportsbook, which equates to nine sets going the full five legs.
Anderson's finishing will need to improve from Saturday night. We know that he's capable of doing that, but there is also a sense that Price has still not reached the heights that he can achieve in this tournament.
Both players have had nice routes through to the finals. Price has made life tougher for himself, but there's no one better right now at handling the pressure. He keeps finding a way to win, even if he experiences a dip. Price has show a phenomenal ability to take out big finishes, which was necessary in the match against Bunting, who was more clinical than the other losing semi-finalist, Chisnall.
You can back Price to hit a checkout higher than 135.5 at 5/6. It's a feat that he's managed in all five of his matches en-route to the final.
It would be no surprise at all if Anderson lifts the Sid Waddell Trophy tonight, but due to his consistency this year, will to win and finishing power, I'm going with Price to win his first world title. If you fancy bigger odds than the 1.865/6 on offer, go for a Price win and for him to also hit the highest checkout, at 2/1.
Dan Fitch PDC World Championship 2021
Staked: 62.00 pts
Returned: 50.04 pts
P/L: -11.96 pts