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World Matchplay Darts: Emma Paton’s predictions with Peter Wright, Michael van Gerwen and Dimitri van den Bergh in the frame – Sky Sports

Emma Paton

Sky Sports News Reporter/Presenter @MissEmmaPaton

Emma Paton attempts to predict the future with the World Matchplay Darts at the iconic Winter Gardens in Blackpool starting on Saturday, July 16 until Sunday, July 24 – live on Sky Sports Who will lift the Phil Taylor Trophy this year?

Last Updated: 14/07/22 2:52pm

Sky Sports’ presenter Emma Paton is back to give us her predictions ahead of this summer’s World Matchplay Darts at the iconic Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

Peter Wright will be aiming to outshine the illuminations along the Promenade when he begins his defence of the Phil Taylor Trophy against Latvian debutant Madars Razma.

Gary Anderson, the 2018 champion, faces Daryl Gurney while Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis meet in a clash of the tungsten titans.

Throw in World No 2 Gerwyn Price, Michael Smith and ‘The Ferret’ Jonny Clayton and you’ve got yourself an extremely difficult predictions piece to ponder. This is why we decided to leave it up to Emma to make the big decisions.

Live World Matchplay Darts

July 16, 2022, 7:00pm

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Watch every nine-darter that has been hit at the World Matchplay
Watch every nine-darter that has been hit at the World Matchplay

Starting with the must-watch ties of the first round…

There are a few that stand out for me. Of course there’s the obvious one of Michael van Gerwen vs Adrian Lewis. It’s an intriguing tie with MVG returning from surgery and Lewis picking up a first ranking title in three years over the weekend. It should be a brilliant watch on Sunday night!

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We take a look back at this classic World Matchplay semi-final between Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis in 2013
We take a look back at this classic World Matchplay semi-final between Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis in 2013

Elsewhere, Luke Humprhies vs Nathan Aspinall should have some fireworks! Humphries has been picking up title after title on the Euro Tour and ‘The Asp’ has really found some form making the latter stages of four of the last five Pro Tour events.

I’m expecting Joe Cullen vs Damon Heta to be another good watch between two players who should be high on confidence with Cullen a dart away from lifting the Premier League title last month and Heta lifting the World Cup!

Also, if you thought for a second about not tuning in to the Sunday afternoon session, then think again! Dirk van Duijvenbode vs Ryan Searle should be captivating.

The player to watch…

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The best of the action from Heta’s clash with Jonny Clayton in the final of the World Cup of Darts
The best of the action from Heta’s clash with Jonny Clayton in the final of the World Cup of Darts

Damon Heta is a player who’s been in brilliant form recently. It was an emotional end to the World Cup of Darts a few weeks ago with Heta and Simon Whitlock lifting the trophy for the first time. It was the biggest day of his darting life and he went up there and performed, you just wonder what that win has done, and will continue to do, for his confidence. Not to mention away from the big stage.

In the last ProTour event before Blackpool at Players Championship 21, he went all the way to the semi-finals before losing to eventual winner Brendan Dolan but there were some real high quality peformances en route – including a 106 average in his opening match.

Can the World Cup winner have a run at the Winter Gardens? He’s one to keep an eye on.

And the winner is?

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Van den Bergh wins in the dancing department, but what about the darting department?
Van den Bergh wins in the dancing department, but what about the darting department?

…Dimitri van den Bergh!

The Belgian has been one of the standout performers over the past month or so after picking up a first World Series title in Copenhagen at the Nordic Masters, and then following that up at Dutch Darts Masters out in Amsterdam.

I was at both of those so had the joy of watching him go through the rounds and go through the gears. He dominated both events, and really dazzled at times. We had the dancing and the entertainment but he also just looked so focused and in the zone up on the big stage.

Van den Bergh is a player who’s won the World Matchplay before, when the tournament was held behind closed doors in 2020 for his first major title, but he followed that up (and certainly silenced any doubters) by finishing runner-up last year to a relentless Peter Wright.

Can he make it three finals in three years? That would be some going wouldn’t it?!

Who wins the first ever Women’s World Matchplay?

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Speaking on the Love The Darts Podcast, Polly James believes the Women’s World Matchplay can be inspiring for the next generation
Speaking on the Love The Darts Podcast, Polly James believes the Women’s World Matchplay can be inspiring for the next generation

Well the real answer is that darts is the winner! But I’m guessing that’s not allowed so I’m opting for Lisa Ashton here.

There has never been a day of Women’s Series darts when Lisa Ashton hasn’t won a title. Yes, you read that right!

The Lancashire Rose is the top seed and has SEVEN Women’s Series titles to her name and I think she’ll really rise to the occasion on Sunday afternoon.

What’s brilliant about this event is that we’ve got the established names with the likes of Ashton, Fallon Sherrock, Lorraine Winstanley and Laura Turner but we’re also going to see some of the real stars of the future, teenagers like Chloe O’Brien and Katie Sheldon up on the iconic Winter Gardens stage.

With the quarter-finals best of just seven legs, anything can happen!

Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts. We’re back for the World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool on Saturday, July 16 – live on Sky Sports Action.