World Darts Championship: Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price to reach final | World number one will ‘have to play better’ | Darts News

Gerwyn Price and Michael van Gerwen feature during the evening session of the quarter-finals

Gerwyn Price and Michael van Gerwen feature during the evening session of the quarter-finals

Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price will fight it out for the Worlds Darts Championship title, according to Wayne Mardle.

Both players are into the last-eight, which is live on Sky Sports Main Event on January 1, and Mardle believes they will reach Tuesday’s final.

However, they’ll both have to navigate tough quarter-final ties in the new year before that.

Three-time World Champion Van Gerwen, world No 1 Price and two-time runner-up Michael Smith are among the headline acts on New Year’s Day at Alexandra Palace.

Price and Van Gerwen headline the evening session, with ties against Gabriel Clemens and Chris Dobey respectively.

The best of the action from the evening session of Day 13 at the World Darts Championship

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The best of the action from the evening session of Day 13 at the World Darts Championship

The best of the action from the evening session of Day 13 at the World Darts Championship

In the afternoon session, Dimitri Van den Bergh faces Jonny Clayton and Michael Smith has a showdown against Stephen Bunting.

Mardle’s said: “I predicted a Price vs Van Gerwen final at the start, but Gerwyn knows he will have to play better.

“Gabriel will push him, but I assume Gerwyn will respond. I will assume that until he doesn’t.”

Webster: Dobey can capitalise on MVG slip ups

Mark Webster believes that Van Gerwen will lift the title if he plays his best darts.

Webster said: “Michael will have to underperform, but I was so impressed with Dobey against Cross.

“I have never seen that level of performance so consistently from him on the big stage.

“If Michael plays as he can, he will lift the title. If he doesn’t, players can mop up, and Dobey is one of them.”

The Dutchman has been in fine form during the tournament. He breezed past Lewy Williams, Mensur Suljovic and Dirk van Duijvenbode in the early rounds to set up a tie against Dobey.

On his way to the last-eight, Van Gerwen has only dropped three sets, and he believes that if he continues to perform the way he has, he has a good chance of lifting his fourth World Championship.

“I feel good and that anything is possible in this World Championship. If I play like this, I am not going to lose. Something strange has to happen to me, an off day or whatever, for me not to win my games,” he said.

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Clemens: I can beat Price!

On the other side of the draw, Price faces a tough tie against Clemens, who is the first German to reach the last-eight.

The German world number one believes that Price will be favourite, but feels he has been in good form going into the match.

He said: “He will be the favourite, but I’ve had three good games on the stage with him, and I’ve beaten him before, so it’s about taking your chance.

The Love The Darts team discuss who their favourite is for this year's World Darts Championship and also who they think will be the player to watch

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The Love The Darts team discuss who their favourite is for this year’s World Darts Championship and also who they think will be the player to watch

The Love The Darts team discuss who their favourite is for this year’s World Darts Championship and also who they think will be the player to watch

“I hope I can put some pressure on him. It’s not easy to play against the world No 1. This is my first time playing in the quarter-finals of the Worlds, so I hope I can give him a good game, and maybe I can win, why not!?”

Price hasn’t been at his best at Ally Pally this year, but has showed why he is world number one in glimpses.

After he beat Jose de Sousa in the fourth round, Price said: “I just wanted to win – it doesn’t matter about the performance.

“I was battling against myself, battling against Jose, but I felt comfortable all the way through the game. I thought I was going to win the game, it was just a matter of time.

“I knew how well I could play. I knew I wasn’t playing at my best, but when chances did come my way, I took them.”

Both Chris Dobey and Dirk van Duijvenbode reeled in 'The Big Fish' on Day 13

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Both Chris Dobey and Dirk van Duijvenbode reeled in ‘The Big Fish’ on Day 13

Both Chris Dobey and Dirk van Duijvenbode reeled in ‘The Big Fish’ on Day 13

Mardle predicts nine-darter | Bunting: Write me off at your peril!

In the morning session on January 1, Clayton faces Van den Bergh, while Smith plays Bunting.

Clayton showed all his experience against Josh Rock to overcome a seven-set epic, while Van den Bergh beat fellow Belgian Kim Huybrechts 4-0.

Smith and Bunting were both in fine form on Friday as they beat Joe Cullen and Luke Humphries 4-1.

All four players are in good form at Ally Pally and with no clear favourite, the afternoon session could produce another epic.

Bunting believes he has been playing some of his best darts during the World Championships.

Bunting: “If you are going to play your best darts, this is the place to play it. I was watching this afternoon and people said, ‘can I do it again?’

Wayne Mardle believes we will see a nine-dart finish in this year's World Darts Championship

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Wayne Mardle believes we will see a nine-dart finish in this year’s World Darts Championship

Wayne Mardle believes we will see a nine-dart finish in this year’s World Darts Championship

“I have been preparing so hard for this tournament, been locking myself away, bruising and battering myself to hit the big scores. I am a danger to anyone in this tournament. Write me off at your peril!”

This year’s tournament has seen some epic clashes, a record-breaking number of maximums and two Big Fish’s. But no one has been able to produce a nine-darter yet, and Mardle believes that will during the quarter-finals.

“We’ve not seen a nine-darter today. I keep saying it’s Michael Smith. We are going to see one,” he said.

“These players who are making inroads in the rankings, there are a lot of big games coming up, and these games will set a lot of players in good stead for what is coming up in the new year.”

Watch the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship – live on Sky Sports Darts – all the way through to the final on January 3.