Michael van Gerwen and Adrian will lock horns in the World Matchplay semi-final, on Saturday night at the Winter Gardens. The pair both came through their quarter-finals against Dave Chisnall and Peter Wright. The duo are often compared due to their age and styles. MvG has spiced up the semi-final, when being interview by Skysports van Gerwen claimed that if he plays at his best then “Lewis can’t reach my level.” This was in response to Lewis almost gloating, about beating Michael at the World Cup of Darts. With three world titles between them, for years the pair were given the tag of the player that would take the baton from Phil Taylor. Adrian Lewis was the back to back world champion in 2011/12, with Michael van Gerwen winning his world title in 2014.
The ‘young guns’ have already seen plenty of each other this year. Lewis with a 4-1 victory over van Gerwen in the World Cup of Darts, but over the longer format, the pair met in the semi-final of the Premier League at the O2 back in May. It’s was an easy night’s work for MvG that night, as he beat Lewis 10-4 before going on to lift the title. Overall in the head to head stats it’s Michael holding the upper hand, as he leads 28-13. You would need to go back to 2013 to find an Adrian Lewis victory over Michael van Gerwen over a longer format. Lewis beat MvG twice that year at the Grand Slam 10-8 and here on the Winter Gardens stage 17-15, in a match that goes down as a PDC classic. Of late it’s Michael who has had the better of Jackpot.
This semi-final will be played a high pace that will suit both players. If they both play well, then we could see stratospheric averages, as both are among the biggest power scorers in the business. Adrian will need to produce his best performance of the World Matchplay so far, if he plays like he did in the latter stages against Mark Webster and the whole game against Gerwyn Price, then it will be a quick night, as MvG will blow him away. If the real Adrian Lewis shows up, then there will be fireworks for the Blackpool crowd. In what will be a cauldron of noise, and an inferno of heat on Saturday night I hope this lives up to the game it could be. My personal prediction is that Michael wins the game, and I’m going for 17/11.