Peter Wright will not be winning the PDC World Championship in 2021, with Snakebite eliminated by Gabriel Clemens in a thrilling third-round tussle at Alexandra Palace on Sunday night.
Wright averaged 101.50, but it was not enough to see off German Clemens, who claimed a 4-3 victory to march into the last 16. Clemens has started to pick up some excellent results on the PDC circuit in his late-30s and his gutsy success over the defending champion has set up a meeting with Polish ace Krzysztof Ratajski.
Simon Whitlock suffered at the hands of Ratajski in the opening match of Sunday – the Aussie beaten 4-0 in a contest of low quality. The Australian, who has beaten Michael van Gerwen three times on TV this year, could not get himself going.
Van Gerwen has produced the most impressive third-round performance so far – the Dutchman averaging 106.85 in a 4-0 destruction of Ricky Evans. Mighty Mike shortened for outright glory in the wake of his triumph.
Draw Has Opened up for Wade to Progress
The elimination of Peter Wright was good news for James Wade, who will realise the draw has opened up nicely for him. Wade, a three-time PDC World Championship semi-finalist, has been in decent nick and will fancy his chances of threatening an Alexandra Palace breakthrough at the age of 37.
10/31 to beat Stephen Bunting in round three, can be fancied to secure a safe passage past an inconsistent opponent. Wade, a two-time World Grand Prix champion, a former World Matchplay victor, and the 2009 Premier League champion, has always been effective at seeing off low-grade foes.
The likes of Van Gerwen and Gary Anderson usually carry too much scoring power for Wade, but the Aldershot man can be trusted against lesser opposition.
With each-way terms of a half the odds, the first two (the final), plenty of punters will be sniffing around the outright odds for Wade. The lack of crowds at Alexandra Palace may be helping Wade, a temperamental character who can let the onlookers bother him.
Slow-Coach Suljovic Could Upset Anderson
Arguably the most intriguing contest on the Monday card is the meeting between Gary Anderson and Mensur Suljovic – the opening joust of the evening session.
Anderson is obviously top-class and the two-time world champion can still beat anybody on his day, but the 50-year-old Scot has become increasingly irritable at the oche in recent seasons and is easily ruffled by some opponents.
Suljovic is one player who often gets under the skin of Anderson. The Austrian is a methodical operator who plays at his own pace, frustrating Anderson, who is one of the quickest throwers on the circuit.
Anderson has been struggling with a knee injury and his second-round match had to be delayed because he came into contact with somebody who had Covid-19, so the favourite could be vulnerable. Suljovic may attract many at
23/20 as the value selection.
*All odds correct at time of writing.