The second-round of the World Matchplay 2021 begins on Tuesday, with world champion Gerwyn Price taking on Jonny Clayton.
World No. 1 Price beat Jermaine Wattimena 10-4 to progress in the first round, while World No. 16 Jonny Clayton defeated Dirk van Duijvenbode 10-7.
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Price is 4/7 to win on Tuesday, with Clayton considered an 11/8 underdog.
Personally, I think Price looks pretty good value at these odds. Clayton has come on leaps and bounds in the last year, winning the Premier League and Masters in 2021 but Price has the edge on him in recent head-to-heads.
Indeed, “the Iceman” has beaten “the Ferret” in each of their last seven meetings, including a 7-1 thrashing at the Players Championship last month.
For whatever reason, Clayton seems to have a bit of a mental block against his compatriot, so backing Price on a handicap appeals as a betting angle.
Price is 6/5 to cover a -2.5 legs handicap, meaning he would simply need to win by three or more legs for our bet to land.
This looks a great way in on what should be an entertaining match in front of a raucous Blackpool crowd, who are likely to side with Clayton given that he is the underdog, while Price isn’t always the most popular player on tour.
However, Price revealed after his first round victory that being booed often helps him focus to a higher standard.
“It’s nice to have them back. Even though they are booing it makes me concentrate a lot more,” said Price.
“It is what it is but it’s good without the boos, but if they are there it makes me play a little better.”
Clayton, meanwhile, who had never previously won a match at the World Matchplay before this year, admitted that he is expecting a tough encounter against Price, whom he enjoys a good relationship with away from the darts board.
“It’s brilliant after four years to finally get through to the second round for the first time,” Clayton said.
“It won’t be an easy game but at least there will be a Welshman in the quarter-finals. I’m looking forward to it.”