Wayne Mardle’s Matchplay predictions: Michael van Gerwen’s challengers and the star power of Beau Greaves | Darts news

Ahead of this year’s World Matchplay, Sky Sports’ Wayne Martle provides predictions for both the men’s and women’s matches.

The World Matchplay is here again and as one of the highlights of the darting calendar, all eyes will be on Blackpool to see who can make it to victory.

Michael van Gerwen and Fallon Sherak will defend their titles, but the show has experienced and new talent ready to try to write their name in the folklore of the Winter Garden.

To break it down, Myrtle answers key questions, then looks into his crystal ball to pick this year’s winners…

Is this the best matchplay sequence?

Check out the best checkouts from last year’s final at the World Matchplay in Blackpool

„Yeah, every event we get to this point, I think if it’s the best ever, that’s it.

„There are so many possibilities when you look down the draw in the first round and work your way through. It’s impossible to fathom.

„We’re certainly expecting some big boys at the end. Peter Wright’s got Andrew Gilding – the way Wright’s playing at the moment, it’s not a given.

„And then it’s Michael Smith against Steve Peyton. A lot of people want Peyton to beat Smith, not because Smith wants to lose, but because Peyton is eligible again. How does he do that?

Watch the best action in the 2022 finals

„Even looking at the caliber of lesser-known players, we have to wax on Josh Rock because he can beat anyone on his day.

„I believe it’s always going to be more dramatic, so why not?

„Dave Chisnall vs Gary Anderson is probably the headliner.

„Then you have Johnny Clayton vs Gabriel Clemens, James Wade vs Chris Toby, Stephen Bunting vs Kerwin Price. The list goes on.”

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Can Anderson and Barney turn back the clock?

With Scotland and the Philippines locked at 6-6, Gary Anderson produced a stunning 141 checkout to seal victory in the World Cup.

„Gary Anderson especially for me, yes he can.

„He’s got this desire to win again, which is a form he’s loved in the past, and certainly won it in 2018 and finished runner-up two years later.

„That win in 2018 was a fantastic run and the win over Mensur Suljovic in the final was the best world matchplay final I’ve ever seen.

„We know Gary has won two world titles in sets and I like him in legs as well.

„Outside of Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld, I think Anderson has the best chance to show the level he needs to win it.

„Barney is still one of my favorite players to watch. He’ll love the draw and if he wins, Peter Wright or Andrew Gilding will be there.

„Barney’s in a long form, he’ll love it.”

How special is the winter garden?

„It’s a really special place, it’s a big event.

„It’s second on the calendar to the World Cup, or third behind the Premier League, but it’s a big event and it’s the place for enthusiasts to go.

„This is where people have their weekends off and buy a season ticket to go to every session every day.

„There’s no event like it, and it’s my personal favourite, probably behind the Circus restaurant, which we haven’t been to in the last decade, it’s a special place.”

How exciting will the women’s matchplay be this year?

Fallon Sherock will face legend Lisa Ashton in the women’s match as she begins her title defense.

“I have to say there are two players I would like to see.

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„You’ve obviously got Fallon Sherak and Lisa Ashton, and then Noah-Lynn Van Leeuwen.

“But one of my favorite things is that I don’t think she’s going to be touched, and that’s the complete case of Beau Greaves.

Speaking on Love the Darts, Beau Greaves discusses the opening weekend of the Women’s Series, where her 70-match winning streak ended but she won three titles.

„I can’t wait to see her, I’ve never seen such a talented female darts player.

„The way she throws, her board management, the speed with which she plays, the aggression with which she plays, the fluidity of her throws, I’ve never seen anything like it in the women’s game.”

Who will win the Men’s World Championship?

Van Gerwen defeated Gerwin Price in the 2022 World Matchplay Final and completed the win with a stunning 121 checkout.

“I actually went to Dimitri van den Berg to beat Michael Smith in the final and that’s what I did.

“I mentioned at the World Cup that I thought van den Berg was absolutely incredible, but what really put the cat among the pigeons was Michael van Gerwen’s performance in Poland, which was peak MVG.

„Peak MVG beats anyone on their day. If he plays well every round he will win.

Van Gerwen won the World Matchplay Cup last year

“I think van den Berg will like his draw, he already won it and he reached the final a year after winning it again, so I like van den Berg in the leg format.

“I think he’s got a fantastic game and he keeps the stamina questions out of it because he wants to keep himself in check.

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„A long, hard week in the sun, I think it will do him the world of good.”

World Matchplay Table

Saturday 15th July (7pm)
4x first round

Joe Cullen v Mike De Decker
Rob Cross v Daryl Gurney
Kerwin Price v Stephen Bunting
Dave Chisnall v Gary Anderson

Sunday 16th July
Afternoon Session (1 pm)
4x first round

Danny Nobert vs. Martin Schindler
Dirk van Duijvenbot v Kim Huybrechts
Damon Hedda v Josh Rock
James Wade v Chris Tobey

Evening Session (7.30 pm)
4x first round

Nathan Aspinall vs. Krzysztof Ratajski
Luke Humphreys vs Jose de Sousa
Michael van Gerwen v Brendan Dolan
Michael Smith v Steve Beaton

Monday 17th July (7pm)
4x first round

Dimitri van den Berg v Ross Smith
Ryan Searle v Raymond van Barneveld
Peter Wright v Andrew Gilding
Johnny Clayton v Gabriel Clemens

Tuesday 18th July (7pm)
4x Second round – order of matches TBC

M Smith/Beyton v Wade/Tobey
Knoppert/Schindler v Aspinall/Ratajski
Price/Bunding v Cullen/T Decker
Cross/Kurney v Chisnall/Anderson

Wednesday 19th July (7pm)
4x Second round – order of matches TBC

Wright/Gilding v Searle/Van Barneveld
Clayton/Clemens vs. Van den Berg/R Smith
Van Gerwen/Dolan v Hedda/Rock
Humphreys/de Sousa v van Duijvenbot/Huybrechts

Thursday 20th July (8pm)
2x quarter finals

Friday July 21 (8pm)
2x quarter finals

Saturday 22nd July (8pm)

Sunday 23rd July
Afternoon Session (1 pm)
Betfred Women’s World Matchplay
quarter final

Beau Greaves vs. Noa-Lynn Van Leeuwen
Robin Byrne on Rhian O’Sullivan
Mikuru Suzuki v Aileen de Graaf
Fallon Sheragh v Lisa Ashton

Greaves/Van Leeuwen v Byrne/O’Sullivan
Suzuki/De Graaf v Sherock/Ashton


Evening Session (8 pm)
World Matchplay Ultimate


Catch all the action from July 15-23 World Matchplay – live on Sky Sports

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