World Matchplay Semi-Finals Tips: Van den Bergh will meet Wright in final

Dimitri van den Bergh.
Will Dimitri van den Bergh reach the World Matchplay final for a second time?

It's the semi-finals of the World Matchplay on Saturday night and Dan Fitch has his money on Dimitri van den Bergh and Peter Wright making it through.

"Over the last two rounds he has shown both grit and coolness, to get past Dave Chisnall and Price. Van den Bergh averaged 103.68 in his victory over Chisnall and then 102.27 in his 16-9 win over Price."

Back Van den Bergh -3.5 to beat Ratajski at 2.111/10

PDC World Matchplay
Saturday 24 July
Live on Sky Sports Arena

We're down to the last four of the World Matchplay, with two clear favourites having emerged, who are expected to reach Sunday's final.

The world number two Peter Wright is the narrow favourite to win the tournament at 3.185/40, just ahead of the reigning champion Dimitri van den Bergh at 3.1511/5. Wright is favourite despite the fact that he will face Michael van Gerwen in the second of tonight's semis, with the Dutchman the third favourite at 3.814/5.

Van den Bergh will face Krzysztof Ratajski in the first semi and having knocked Gerwyn Price out in the quarter-finals, is being backed to make his second successive World Matchplay final. Ratajski is the outsider to win the tournament at 8.88/1.

Van den Bergh will win, but Ratajski is underrated

Dimitri van den Bergh 1.4740/85 v Krzysztof Ratajski 3.185/40
Start time, 19:15

Van den Bergh is the big favourite to go through here at 1.4740/85, which looks a little short against a player of Ratajski's quality.

The Belgian has to be favoured, of course. Over the last two rounds he has shown both grit and coolness, to get past Dave Chisnall and Price. Van den Bergh averaged 103.68 in his victory over Chisnall and then 102.27 in his 16-9 win over Price.

Yet Ratajski has not been strayed too far from that level of scoring himself. Starting with 101.57 against Brendan Dolan, he scored 99.54 in his win over Luke Humphries and then 97.34 against Callan Rydz in the quarter-finals. Rydz did not put up much of a fight, so the fact that Ratajski's average dipped a little, is hardly surprising.

You can back Ratajski to average over 97.5 in this game at 1.834/5. It's a total that he easily beat in his first two games and came close to beating in the quarters, against an opponent that didn't really press him.

Ratajski has won each of his last three games against Van den Bergh, but all were in floor tournaments and 'The DreamMaker' is a player who is at his best on the big stage. Considering that he beat Price by a seven leg margin, Van den Bergh looks decent value with -3.5 on the handicap market at 2.111/10, in this best of 33 leg match.

Wright will repeat recent final win

Peter Wright 1.865/6 v Michael van Gerwen 2.166/5
Start time, 20:45

It's not often that Michael van Gerwen is an underdog, but based on the respective performances of these rivals so far, it's warranted.

Van Gerwen beat Nathan Aspinall 16-9 with an average of 94.72 in the quarter-finals. The quality was not what you'd expect from those two, enabling Van Gerwen to progress with the least impressive performance of any of the semi-finalists.

With MVG there is always the potential for him to find his best form and blow his opponent away, but so far in this tournament we've not seen it. Even when he averaged 100.68 against Ian White in the second round, he was short of the level that we used to see regularly from him some years ago.

In contrast, Wright very much looks to be at his best. Starting with a 99.75 average against Danny Noppert, he's since produced 105.46 against Joe Cullen and 100.37 in the quarters against Michael Smith. All three of his matches have been won by big margins, so 'Snakebite' should be relatively fresh.

These two met in the final on the last day of the Super Series, in what was the most recent competition prior to the World Matchplay starting. Wright won that match 8-2 and everything points to him beating Van Gerwen again, at odds of 1.865/6. Another bet worth taking is for Wright to average over 99.5 at 1.834/5, which he's managed in all three of his matches so far.

Dan Fitch World Matchplay P/L

Staked: 32.00 pts
Returned: 30.96 pts
P/L: -1.04 pts

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