The 2021 PDC World Matchplay kicks off on Saturday, July 17, at Winter Gardens, featuring 32 of the world’s best darts players, who will compete for a spot in the finals on Sunday, July 25. The tournament will take place at the initially planned venue, albeit with a restricted crowd for the opening two rounds.
After that, it’s back to usual with the full capacity crowd back in their regular place on Monday, July 19. The 2021 PDC World Matchplay will also introduce a new rule, where all matches will have to be won by two legs – with games extended up to a maximum of six extra legs before the game turns to sudden death.
Traveling to Winter Gardens are top-16 players on the PDC Order of Merit at the cut-off point on July 10, as well as top-16 on the ProTour Order of Merit not to have already qualified. The latter took all events from the 2020 Players Championship 14 up until the 2021 Players Championship 20.
Mensur Suljović qualified for the event as the seventh-seeded player on the PDC ProTour but decided to withdraw due to medical reasons. He was replaced by Jermaine Wattimena, who will make his first fourth appearance at the World Matchplay.
The first round of the tournament will begin on Saturday, July 17, and conclude on Monday, July 19, followed by second-round bouts on July 19-21. The quarter-finals will take place on July 22-23, leading into the semi-finals on Saturday, July 24, and the finals on Sunday, 25.
2021 PDC World Matchplay Format
Round One: Best of 19 legs
Round Two: Best of 21 legs
Quarter-Finals: Best of 31 legs
Semi-Finals: Best of 33 legs
Final: Best of 35 legs
2021 PDC World Matchplay Prize Money (£700,000)
Second Round: £15,000
First Round: £10,000
2021 PDC World Matchplay Outright Prediction
With the improved standard of play, professional darts have never been as competitive, and it would be more than fair to say that there are more than a few players who are capable of winning. It’s quite refreshing seeing new names rise up to the occasion and prove they can be just as good as the next guy.
Out of 32 players, 12 had already won a Major title before, while the rest all showed excellent form – which is also why they’re here. If we look at the field, it would be hard to say who is the undisputed number one, and while Gerwyn Price officially holds that tag, you could definitely make a case for Jonny Clayton as the best player in the world ahead of the tournament.
The latter has won over 3/4 of his matches on the tour and has claimed The Masters, two Player Championships, and the Premer League in 2021. He has also averaged better scoring on the year than Clayton with 99.3 to 99.19; however, one player outperformed both.
Jose de Sousa is at 99.52 on the year and joins Clayton and Price as one of the best players in darts currently. The three have nine tournaments in 2021 between them, so you could definitely say that all three are strong competitors for the 2021 PDC World Matchplay title.
De Sousa will begin his attack on the title in the third quarter, where he will meet with Peter Wright, Chris Dobey, Michael Smith, and Joe Cullen. Out of his main competitors, Wright is the only one who could challenge him since Dobey, Smith, and Cullen all have weaknesses – either poor win rate, poor form, or iffy showings in big tournaments.
Comparing Wright and de Sousa, the latter holds a marginal 4-1-3 lead in the head-to-head. The two last met in June, when de Sousa won 7-5, adding to his 6-3 victory in April 2021.
The draw has formed very competitive quarters, which makes it difficult to spot a clear favourite; however, with the form de Sousa has been showing, it’s hard to pass on him at 11.00 (Bet365).
Prediction: Jose de Sousa to win – 8.00 at BetWay- 1 Unit
2021 PDC World Matchplay – Day 1 Picks
The 2021 PDC World Matchplay kicks off on Saturday, July 17, with four matches featuring Dave Chisnall vs Vincent van der Voort, Jonny Clayton vs Dirk van Duijvenbode, Gerwyn Price vs Jermaine Wattimena, and Dimitri van den Bergh vs Devon Petersen. If you are betting, make sure you always check around for better odds, use sites like oddsportal or oddschecker! Here is our betting preview for those four bouts.
Chisnall D. – Van der Voort V.
Saturday, July 17 – 19:10 BST
Dave Chisnall holds a slight edge over Vincent van der Voort in the head-to-head (7-5); however, these two have met only once in 2021. That match happened in June when der Voort won 6-5, which should serve as a morale boost for the Dutch, as he looks to repeat his success from last year’s World Matchplay R1 fixture when he beat Chisnall 10-6.
Both players have done well of late, winning six of their last 10 outings. Der Voort proved to be far less consistent with his showings; however, it’s hard to praise Chisnall too much for what he has shown of late.
It’s hard to call out a clear winner, as there isn’t much to set them apart. We like the odds on Vincent van der Voort.
Prediction: Van der Voort to win – 2.62 at Bet365 – 1 Unit
Clayton J. – van Duijvenbode D.
Saturday, July 17 – 21:00 BST
You could say that Jonny Clayton should be favoured to defeat Dirk van Duijvenbode, but we didn’t expect to see odds so far apart.
Van Duijvenbode has looked much improved on the year, largely due to his changed throw that improved his rate of 180s. In 2021, he has managed a rate of 1 of every 2.74 legs, which is quite impressive, and if he can keep at it, van Duijvenbode will end the year with one of the best 180 rates ever.
Clayton hits a solid amount as well, but he is not as prolific. However, there will be days with Clayton “feels it”, and on those days, he will hit loads.
Clayton and van Duijvenbode met three times in 2021, and it’s 2-1 in favour of Clayton, which includes a 10-3 victory in this best-of-19 leg. Still, Clayton has dropped in form since, so it’s hard not to favour Dirk van Duijvenbode at 2.62.
Prediction: Van Duijvenbode D. to win – 2.62 at Bet365 1 Unit
Price G. – Wattimena J.
Saturday, July 17 – 21:50 BST
Jermaine Wattimena replaced Mensur Suljović and was given a chance to prove himself against the current world no.1., Gerwyn Price.
Wattimena enters the 2021 PDC World Matchplay looking for his first win at the tournament. He had appeared here three times before and crashed out of the first round each time. Wattimena has won six of his last 10 outings; however, his scoring was mediocre at most, averaging 91.98.
What’s more, Wattimena has won 51% of his games, which is nowhere near Price’s 77% rate, nor is he as efficient in scoring (99.3).
Price has been fairly unconvincing at this event in previous years and has not won a single bout since 2015; however, this is no longer the same Price we saw over the years. There’s a reason why he is the current no.1 and is undeniably one of the best players at the tournament.
Wattimena won against Price twice in their eight meetings (2-6), but not once since 2017. The last time these two clashed was in October 2020, when Price won 2-0 in the 2020 World Grand Prix, having previously outclassed Wattimena with 7-0 during the Premier League in August.
Prediction: Gerwyn Price -3.5 Legs – 1.80 Bet365 1 Unit
van den Bergh D. – Petersen D.
Saturday, July 17 – 22:40 BST
The reigning champion Dimitri van den Bergh will start his defence against Devon Petersen, who he last met and beaten with 6-2 in September 2020. Petersen has proven himself as a formidable opponent before; however, he has not been at the top of his game recently.
He has won only half of his last 10 outings and saw his win rate on the season drop from 62% to 52%. What’s more, Petersen’s scoring on the year is at only 92.0, which sits him well below den Bergh’s 97.8.
Unlike Petersen, who has been struggling with his form, the defending champion enters this match with six wins from his last 10. He has won the PC12 in April reached the quarter-finals of PC14, finals of PC17, and semi-finals of PC19 at the start of the month.
Prediction: van den Bergh D. -3.50 Legs – 2.20 at Bet356 1 Unit
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