Dan Fitch thinks that the final of the World Matchplay will see a competitive match and that the value lies with Dimitri van den Bergh against Gary Anderson...
"Van den Bergh was not expected to beat Nathan Aspinall in the first round, Adrian Lewis in the quarter-finals or Durrant in the semis, so who’s to say that he won’t pull off another shock?"
Gary Anderson 8/131.6 v Dimitri van den Bergh 13/82.62
World Matchplay Final
Sunday 26 July, 20:45
Live on Sky Sports Action
Anderson has the experience
The experienced Gary Anderson takes on the up and coming Dimitri van den Bergh in the final of the World Matchplay on Sunday.
Anderson is the favourite at 8/131.6. The world number eight is a two-time former World Champion and won this tournament back in 2018. That was one of three majors that Anderson won that year along with the UK Open and the Champions League of darts, before a back injury kept him out for much of 2019.
That disruption perhaps saw Anderson's standards slip for a period, but this tournament has proved that at 49-years old, he remains a top player. In the semi-final Anderson held his nerve against Michael Smith, after the younger man staged an epic comeback.
At one stage Anderson was 8-3 up and after Smith pulled back level, the Scot won four legs in a row to lead 14-9. Smith then won six consecutive legs to lead 15-14 and go ahead for the first time in the match, but Anderson kept calm recovered the lead and eventually won 18-16.
Pre-tournament long-shot could provide value again
Van den Bergh's semi-final with Glen Durrant also went long, with the Belgian prevailing 17-15. He was ahead for much of the match, but when Durrant fought back to go 15-14 up, it looked like his experience would tell. Van den Bergh responded superbly, winning the last three legs to book his place in his first major final.
At odds of 13/82.62 he could represent the value, even if Anderson's past achievements do make him a rightful favourite. Van den Bergh was not expected to beat Nathan Aspinall in the first round, Adrian Lewis in the quarter-finals or Durrant in the semis, so who's to say that he won't pull off another shock?
Though a 209/1210.0 outsider at the start of the tournament, Van den Bergh has looked like a player who could make the breakthrough to be a top competitor, for some time. Winner of the World Youth Championship in 2017 and 2018, the 26-year old has twice reached the quarter-final stage of the World Championship proper (2018 and 2020).
Additional quarter-final finishes at three other majors over the last couple of years, have suggested that Van den Bergh is a player suited to the big occasion, even if he has yet to find the consistency in smaller tournaments to boost his ranking. Van den Bergh spent lockdown at the house of Peter Wright and it looks as if he used the time productively. At the very least he now seems capable of making this final highly competitive.
Two solid options in likely close encounter
The opponents have one win apiece in past matches. Van den Bergh beat Anderson 8-7 in the semi-final of the German Masters in 2018, while Anderson triumphed 5-1 in the PDC Home Tour during lockdown.
Over 17.5 total 180s is 10/111.91. Between them, Anderson and Van den Bergh scored 17 in their semi-finals, but over a longer final that is the best of 35 legs, they should break this target. Over 31.5 total legs is evens on the Sportsbook. That bet would have landed in both of the semi-finals, despite them being contested over a shorter format.
Dan Fitch World Matchplay P/L
Staked 30.00 pts
Returned 20.86 pts
P/L: -9.14 pts
Back Van den Bergh to beat Anderson at 13/82.62
Back over 31.5 total legs between Anderson and Van den Bergh at evens