21st July 2012
Barneveld vs Smith Betting: Michael Smith can make Barney work hard for his win in Blackpool opener
The final match of the opening night of the World Matchplay sees Raymond Barneveld begin his quest for a first Matchplay title when he takes on the young star Michael Smith over the best of 19 legs at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. This will be something of a baptism of fire into this tournament for Smith who has never played in this event before but he’ll give a good account of himself despite Barney being a 1/5 favourite with William Hill.
Raymond Barneveld rarely seems to show his best form in this tournament for some reason. Whether it’s the heat on the stage or not I’m not really sure but for a man of his quality to have only made one final of this tournament shows he doesn’t always play well here. He’s certainly playing well again coming in here having won three tournaments in 2012 including the last European Tour event in Dusseldorf.
Barneveld takes on another man who has won a tournament in 2012 in this match. Michael Smith won a Players Championship event out in Spain in January which was his second PDC floor title to go along with a host of youth tour wins. On his day Smith can be a devastating scorer and if he is hitting doubles too he can beat anyone. Smith has added motivation here after he feels he didn’t do himself justice in the World Championship.
Michael Smith will be desperate to show the world how good he is and if he plays to his capabilities he will more than make a match out of this. I think he’ll win a few legs at the very least and if Barneveld goes missing on his doubles, which he can do from time to time then Smith will cover the handicap of 4.5 legs by a long margin. With the price being better for over 15.5 legs I will take that for the same reason because even if Smith wins I don’t see it being any easier than 10-5.
Back Over 15.5 legs for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with William Hill
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Author: 'Arry Allsports