After last night’s thrilling contest between Michael Van Gerwen and Joe Cullen, who somehow lost despite magnificently equalling Gary Anderson’s record of 19 180’s in a best-of-seven sets World Championship match, Gerwyn Price and Mervyn King take centre stage at the Alexandra Palace on Wednesday evening.
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Indeed, these may be the only two men remaining in the competition who can stop MVG from winning a fourth World Championship title, with Mighty Mike looking somewhere close to being back to his unstoppable best.
Price is 4/1 to win the tournament outright, with King further afield at 20/1, but those odds will significantly drop if he can cause an upset tonight.
Price is 4/9 to progress to the quarter-finals, with King rated a 7/4 shot.
If he continues to perform as he has in the tournament so far, “The King” has every chance of crowning his career renaissance with the sport’s biggest prize on Sunday evening.
Indeed, only Van Gerwen (105) has a better average than King’s impressive 101 so far in this year’s competition, while the 54-year-old has checked out at a very impressive rate of 50%.
After living in the wilderness in recent years, The King is comfortably playing his best darts since 2014 – when he ended the year as World No. 10 after reaching several semi-finals – having lost to Van Gerwen in the Players Championship final last month.
Price has hit one more 180 than King at this year’s tournament, but his 96 average and 42% checkout rate are somewhat lagging behind his forthcoming opponent, so “The Iceman” will need to considerably up his game in order to live up to his billing as favourite.
I can see yet another fourth-round tie going the distance to be honest, with 4-3 Price 5/1 and 4-3 King 6/1. King is 20/1 to inflict a second successive whitewash having defeated World No. 15 Jose de Sousa to no response in the previous round, but Price is a fierce competitor who has another gear to step into tonight.