Thursday 9 May 2019

6 things to watch for in ET6

1) Will we get another van Gerwen/White final?

Certainly possible, still in separate halves after all, but plenty of hurdles to clear. White will likely get Dimitri in the first game, which is no pushover unless we see the Dimitri we did last time out, while Brendan Dolan isn't the easiest tie van Gerwen could have got. White's potential quarter final in particular looks quite nasty later on.

2) How will the ex-BDO guys do?

Still a talking point near to midway through the season, going to chuck Hughes in here as it's his first year with a card. Durrant has Ryan Searle, which'll be a solid test, before James Wade, which'll be the same. Hughes gets a home nation qualifier and then Adrian Lewis, which ought to be explosive, while Mark McGeeney, on his first time in one of these things, gets Josh Payne and then Joe Cullen if he wins, which ought to put down a decent marker of where he's at.

3) Can the players on the slide step up?

Michael Smith's in a big slide in the Pro Tour rankings, to the point where he's looking like he'll be out of the seeds for the next couple of Euro Tours. Which is odd, given that he's now surpassed Anderson in the FRH rankings for #3 in the world. With Whitlock not being here, Hopp going to drop from the seeds soon, and the likes of Darren Webster and Joe Cullen sliding a bit, it's a bit of a logjam to stay in the seeds with plenty of players such as Wattimena, Ratajski, Aspinall, Beaton and de Zwaan all on the rise.

4) How will Gavin Carlin do?

Gavin raised a few eyebrows after coming through Q-School, and quickly caught a bit of attention by cashing the UK Open and reaching a quarter final early in his career. He's cooled off a bit since the UK Open but it's his first time here, how will he adapt to the big stage?

5) Who'll advance through the big first round games?

Some belters potentially. Beaton against Bunting has a bit of everything, we've touched on Duzza/Searle and McGeeney/Payne, Chris Dobey against Madars Razma has the potential to be a 200+ combined average if both show up, Ratajski ought to get past Robert Owen but the Welshman can certainly bring a decent game, there's a similar tale for Aspinall against Viljanen, while Matt Edgar against James Richardson ought to be a tough matchup, with the winner facing King in what could be the same.

6) Rematches and narratives everywhere!

Ratajski, if he wins, will play Michael Smith in a redo from two months ago. Cross has run into de Zwaan yet again, assuming Jeffrey beats some Swiss guy I've never heard of. I mentioned Dolan, he could get van Gerwen, in round two, and round about this time last year Dolan was one of the few players to take a game off MvG on the European Tour. Keegan Brown could play Ricky Evans in a repeat of their semi final from a few weeks ago. If Aspinall does beat Viljanen, he'd play Hopp - a repeat of their world youth final.

Bets will follow later when lines are up.

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