Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson in action on Thursday at World Darts Championship
Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson and Michael Smith headline Thursday’s World Championship action, as the third-round comes to a close and the fourth-round gets underway.
Here’s what’s in prospect on Thursday at the World Darts Championship…
Devon Petersen v Steve West (R3)
Devon Petersen and Steve West will sense a huge opportunity to progress through their quarter of the draw, after Peter Wright, Joe Cullen and Gerwyn Price all exited the tournament in the second-round stage.
Petersen produced a stirring fightback to dump out 11th seed Ian White – recovering from two sets down to reach the last 16 of the World Championship for just the second time in his career.
West defeated Richard North 3-1 in his opener, taking out finishes of 164 and 124 en route to victory, despite averaging six points less than his opponent.
West is through to the last 16 for the second consecutive year, having lost to two-time world champion Gary Anderson at this stage 12 months ago.
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Luke Humphries (R3)
Two of the hottest young properties in world darts collide on Thursday afternoon, as World Youth champion Dimitri Van den Bergh takes on Luke Humphries.
Humphries has topped the Development Tour rankings in each of the last two years, but the Belgian has gone on to clinch back-to-back World Youth titles.
‘The Dream-Maker’ defeated 15th seed Jonny Clayton 3-1 in round-two, averaging 104.45 en route to victory – his highest ever average at the World Championship.
However, Humphries followed up an emphatic straight sets win over Adam Hunt by dumping out former Lakeside world champion Stephen Bunting, and he’s won three of his seven clashes against Van den Bergh.
Michael Smith v John Henderson (R3)
Michael Smith is highly fancied to progress through the bottom half of the draw and reach his first World Championship Final.
The Premier League and World Series finalist has enjoyed the best year of his career to date, and he kicked off his campaign with a solid 3-1 victory over Ron Meulenkamp.
Henderson took out a hat-trick of ton-plus finishes to defeat Gabriel Clemens in a five-set thriller and he’s bidding to reach the last 16 for the second straight year, having dumped out Daryl Gurney last year.
The pair have only met twice before, with the players registering one victory apiece. However, their solitary showdown in a major tournament saw Smith defeat the Scot 10-4 at the 2017 UK Open.
Toni Alcinas v Benito van de Pas (R3)
Toni Alcinas and Benito van de Pas will collide for the right to take on former World Grand Prix finalist Brendan Dolan for a place in the quarter-finals.
Alcinas reached the last 16 12 months ago and recorded a shock 3-1 victory over third seed Peter Wright in round two, having dispatched Craig Ross in his opener.
Van de Pas has slipped to 30th on the Order of Merit having endured a woeful year on the circuit, but he came through a marathon five-set tiebreak to defeat Jim Long in round two.
Van de Pas has won three of the pair’s five meetings, but Alcinas won their most recent tussle at a Players Championship event in October 2017.
Gary Anderson v Chris Dobey (R4)
Two-time world champion Gary Anderson takes on his protégé Chris Dobey for a place in the quarter-finals on Thursday evening.
‘The Flying Scotsman’ was given a huge scare in his epic third-round clash against Jermaine Wattimena, surviving one match dart before prevailing in a seven-set tiebreak.
Dobey dropped just four legs in dispatching Boris Koltsov and Steve Beaton in straight sets, before edging out Vincent van der Voort in another seven-set marathon.
This is unchartered territory at the World Championship for Dobey, who is bidding to reach his third televised quarter-final, but Anderson has won four of their previous five meetings.
Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis (R4)
Michael van Gerwen takes on Adrian Lewis in a battle of two former world champions to conclude Thursday’s action.
Van Gerwen followed up a convincing 3-1 victory over Alan Tabern by defeating former World Youth champion Max Hopp 4-1 in round three, averaging 101.51 in the process.
Lewis is yet to drop a set in this year’s tournament, following up a straight-sets win over Ted Evetts with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Raymond van Barneveld’s conqueror Darius Labanauskas.
The pair have met twice on the Ally Pally stage before, with MVG denying Lewis a third straight world title in the 2013 quarter-finals, before whitewashing ‘Jackpot’ 6-0 in the 2014 semi-finals.
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