Monday’s PDC World Championship final promises to be a classic, with another England versus Scotland battle to look forward to.
Michael Smith is looking for his first world final success at the second time of asking, while Peter Wright is seeking a second world title having being crowned champion in 2020.
There is a massive £500,000 up for grabs for the winner at Alexandra Palace, with the runner-up receiving £200,000 of the overall prize fund.
Bully Boy Growing in Confidence
Smith goes into his second final in four years with real belief and his performances have improved as the tournament has progressed and he is 11/10 to become world champion for the first time.
The man from St Helens started his road to the 2022 final with a comprehensive 3-0 second-round win over Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp.
Bully Boy then defeated Irishman William O’Connor 4-2 in round three, before a real battle with world number eight Jonny Clayton in the fourth round. Welshman Clayton averaged 102.48 and opened up a two-set lead, but Smith kept his composure and eventually went on to win 4-3.
That victory seemed to give Smith real belief, as he went on to face defending champion Gerwyn Price in the last eight.
Despite the Iceman nailing a nine-dart finish in the quarter-final, it was Smith who came out on top 5-4, with a 101.94 average.
He then claimed another 100+ average in the semi-final victory over James Wades, taking a 5-1 lead before eventually going on to claim a 6-3 success and a place in Monday’s final.
Snakebite Takes Favourite Role
Having won this title two years ago, Wright will be seen by many as the man to beat especially after his impressive display over Gary Anderson in the semi-final, with the 51-year-old 20/27 to take the title.
Snakebite, who won the World Matchplay and Players Championship in 2021, started the worlds with a 3-0 success over Ryan Meikle in round two.
Australian Damon Heta was the next scalp, with Wright a 4-2 victor in round three, before seeing off world number 15 Ryan Searle 4-1 in the fourth round.
The man from Livingston then won a classic in the quarter finals, with an epic 5-4 victory over young Geordie Callan Rydz.
It was an all-Scottish affair in the last four against two-time champion Anderson, with Wright winning 6-4 with an incredible 104.38 average.
Wright Has Head-To-Head Edge
These two players have met on 37 occasions since January 2012, with Peter Wright having the advantage with 23 victories. Michael Smith has 12 wins to his name with two draws in the Premier League.
The last time the two players met at the oche came in November 2021, when Wright won 16-12 at the Grand Slam of Darts, but Smith did win the meeting before then – a 6-2 success in September’s Hungarian Darts Trophy.
Surprisingly, the pair have only once before met in the World Championship, which was back in round three in 2013.
On that occasion, Wright won but the less-experienced Smith caused him problems eventually losing 3-2 in sets.
It’s also worth noting that Wright came very close to a nine-dart finish in the semis, missing double 12, and a nine-darter in the final is available at 9/1.
*All odds correct at time of writing.