Thursday 14 December 2023

Let's predict the whole thing


Rounds 1/2

Smith > Doets > Buntz - Really do think Stowe's run at the Slam is overrating him a fair bit. Kevin is in my opinion the better player, may well be close but Doets gets home. Michael is far better than either
de Decker > Razma > Horvat - Dragutin's alright but I don't see him sustaining the level he'd need against Mike. Also think de Decker's now fairly easily passed the levels Madars is at
Smith > Zonneveld > Webster - Darren getting here is a nice story, but he's a couple of tiers below where Niels is at. Neither of them are close to the quality of Ross
Dobey > O'Connor > Patel - Appears pretty straight forward. Chris is really good. Willie is very solid but not at that tier of play. Bhav'll have fun I'm sure, but is out of his depth
Cross > Vandenbogaerde > Tricole - Think there's decent arguments for Thibault, but Mario's been doing more against a better standard for some time now. Love Rob's game and he ought to have far too much whoever comes through
de Sousa > Edhouse > de Graaf - This seems hard to call. Don't think Jeffrey's playing quite as well as he's done in the past, has chances but I think Ritchie sneaks through. Also don't think Jose's playing as well as he's done in the past, but probably has just about enough to get through
Lennon > Clayton > Bates - This is a punt for sure, but we're normally good for at least one big shock. Owen's solid but I'm not sure he's quite at the Pro Tour level yet. Lennon certainly is, and maybe now's the time where results catch up with performances? Jonny's best games came early in the year and not late after all
Ratajski > Hughes > Cameron - Dave's competent, and Jamie's going to have to be on his game, but I think he's improving at the right time and should have just enough. Krzysztof's far too solid and competent for either of these though

Williams > Wright > Madhoo - Jim's an excellent player. Peter's A game beats him for sure, but while it's still there it's incredibly sporadic as to when we see it. If Wright just turns up and is not at 100% then Williams takes it. First game doesn't really need comment
van Barneveld > Szaganski > Kantele - Marko's had a good season, but Radek's working things out and ought to get home, probably after a bit of a struggle. Not convinced that the difference between Barney and either of these is as much as it'd probably look to the casual, but think he still has the edge over either
Wade > Campbell > Ilagan - Matt usually brings his best stuff on TV, hasn't been at all bad this year, Lourence might always be half a visit behind in this one. James is at a very good spot right now and while I could certainly believe Campbell keeping it close as an outcome, Wade should take it more often than not
Littler > Gilding > Kist - Got to assume Christian's still not right. Luke's game is probably better than Andrew's right now
Price > Scutt > Kciuk - First round game is going to be competitive, just feel that Connor's shown more throughout the season and will get it, maybe this goes to a deciding set. Gerwyn's far better than either, of course
Mansell > Dolan > Zong - A little bit of a flier, but Mickey's had a fine season, and Brendan may be tailing off a tad, so maybe he sneaks through? That is of course if he gets through Zong, if the kid's on it and Mickey's a bit off then I could absolutely see an upset, but I think Mansell ought to be fine there
Krcmar > van Duijvenbode > Brown - Not convinced with Keegan's level of play, he got in direct and not via the PDPA quali like Boris needed to do, but I don't think that reflects how good the players are right now. Maybe Dirk can grind it out but I'm thinking the injury issue may bother him just enough that Boris gets through
Anderson > Whitlock > Nebrida - Paolo seems like one of the weaker Asian qualifiers, Simon's past his best but should coast this one. Ando's on fire though and will deal with Whitlock pretty comfortably

van Gerwen > Barry > Rivera - Not going to disagree with anyone that thinks Reynaldo has a good chance here, he certainly does, but I think Keane will have learned from last year and not make the same mistakes twice. van Gerwen handles either with ease though.
Veenstra > Huybrechts > Robb - Ben looks like he's a pretty decent player, but has never really done it at the worlds. Maybe he steps up and causes a surprise, that's believable, but Richard is probably going to be too tough. Probably is better than Huybrechts as well, Kim's one of the better draws he could have got, and while I think it'll be tight, I see Veenstra just squeaking through
van den Bergh > Hempel > Slevin - First round game I feel will be really close, but I think Hempel's experience on this stage will be the difference. Dimitri's not been great this year relatively speaking, but I think he's still playing just about well enough that we don't see a repeat of the other year
Bunting > Joyce > Spellman - Shame all these are in this section. Ryan's peaking at the right time, Alex is one of the stronger international qualifiers, Joyce's experience should be key here, but Stephen's on fire and that level above all of them
Noppert > Williams > Muramatsu - Haruki's certainly not bad, and may be able to cause some problems for Scott who doesn't seem as good as last year, but Williams ought to get through, maybe in four sets. Danny however is a tier above and Scott's going to need his top game to get close to Danny's floor game
Schindler > Wattimena > Sherrock - Have enough confidence in Jermaine's game that he comes through, regardless of any crowd shenanigans or any high spots from Fallon. Martin's a different proposition, he's shown enough for some time now that he clearly projects as above Jermaine and should ease through
Heta > Lukeman > Puha - Think there's a reasonable case to make for either player in the first round, but I'm going to go with the card holder, does look like he may be getting things right at the right time. Damon's a class apart though, could certainly see either player getting a set, but the outright win seems too much of an ask
Rock > Woodhouse > van Peer - All players seem in kind of the same spot for their relative pot - up towards the top of it, not the absolute best, but better than average. The lower player in each case should have a shot, but the higher player in each case is that bit better

Humphries > Evans > Sosing - Like Lee's game. Should be more than enough against someone who looks like they might be a bit of a lucky qualifier. Humphries looks untouchable here though
Pietreczko > Rydz > Suzuki - Mikuru getting here is cool, but the numbers look like they are far too far off Ricardo's to stand a realistic chance. Ricardo should also handle Callan, Rydz's top game is better than Pietreczko's but it's so infrequently seen that we can't bank on it
Cullen > van Dongen > Penhall - Darren getting here is a cool story, but Jules has been playing far the better darts over the last few months that I don't think this is a close one. Will take Cullen in round two, Joe often finds a way to hit the right stuff at the right time on TV, but it's going to be tough and I can certainly defend a van Dongen pick
Searle > White > Goto - Ian's game's improved enough in the last twelve months that I think he should be able to deal with most of the qualifiers, and Goto's shown nothing to make me think White doesn't come through here. Ryan however is a different story and should have more than enough quality to eliminate Ian
Aspinall > Evans > Adams - Seems pretty easy this one, Simon seems like a fun guy to watch but won't be up to Ricky's standard. Ricky is a fun guy to watch but isn't up to Nathan's standards
Gurney > Nijman > Beaton - Think we get a similar sort of thing to last year where Steve plays steady but loses out to the younger Dutch player, and Wessel's a lot better than van Trijp was. Going to take Daryl in round two, I can certainly see a situation where Nijman wins it, he's good enough to do so, but I'll take the combination of mountains of big stage experience and improved performances this year
Chisnall > Menzies > Rodriguez - Bit of a rough draw for Rusty, running into one of the better players from the Pro Tour list, Cameron ought to cruise through this one. Was kind of half tempted to put him over Dave as well, that's just how good he is, but I think Dave puts meh TV performances this year behind him and gets it done
van Veen > Clemens > Leung - Hyper tough draw for the guy from Hong Kong, can't see how he can make this competitive. Clemens I think will keep the second game tight, I think it's probably closer between the two than most think, but Gian is a tad better and should get the win

Round 3

Smith > de Decker - I could make a case for Mike to beat a fair few seeds in this, and I've got him beating one already. Michael isn't as good as he was last year (cue keyboard warriors comments) but isn't one of those seeds that I think de Decker will get past
Smith > Dobey - One of those that could easily be match of the tournament, if not the year. Good pace, two good players, two players that look tight on paper, but I don't think some people recognise just quite how good Ross is playing right now
Cross > de Sousa - Seems an easy enough pick, Jose's one of the weaker seeds in the field, Rob one of the stronger ones, unless Rob has a mare I don't think Jose has the peak game any more to keep this one tight
Ratajski > Lennon - Steve getting through Clayton is one thing, but Krzysztof has such a consistent level of play and isn't tailing off, that I don't think Lennon sustains what he needs to get through here
Williams > van Barneveld - If Jim comes through Wright, I can't see him having a significant problem with Barney either. Then again last year I thought if he got through Wade he'd have no problems with Clemens. Regardless, Barney's in that group of seeds where I think Jim's the better player, so I'll take Jim to move on
Littler > Wade - Interesting one as to whether Luke handles the length of match against someone who was playing this sort of game before he was born. Probably going to be a tight game, James is certainly playing great stuff this year, but I think Littler's just that bit better and can get through it
Price > Mansell - If this one actually comes to fruition then it's going to be one of the easier ones to call. Probably that way regardless of who plays Gerwyn, who must be one of the shortest prices to make the last sixteen in the whole draw
Anderson > Krcmar - Nice run for Boris but against an elite level player like Gary is, he's not got the firepower to do it, at least not in a best of seven situation

van Gerwen > Veenstra - Richard's good. He's just not van Gerwen levels of good
Bunting > van den Bergh - Stephen's in excellent form and is awfully underrated. Dimitri isn't, and is probably overrated. One of those that looks close to the casual but probably ends up being anything but that
Noppert > Schindler - These two players feel fairly similar in styles to me, so this could be interesting, and I don't think there's as much between as the seedings might indicate, but Noppert I think has the edge in getting things done in majors and that'll be the difference
Rock > Heta - Looks like one of the better games between seeds in this round if everything goes to seeding plan, ought to be great to watch and very competitive. Will take the younger guy who looks to have the slight competitive edge and is trending upwards when it matters
Humphries > Pietreczko - Not thinking too long about this, Ricardo might have a spell where he wins a set or something like that, but Luke's too far ahead in terms of pure quality
Searle > Cullen - Feels close on paper, wouldn't be surprised if it goes either way, but I feel like Ryan's shown that little bit more in terms of results so will go with the minor seeding upset here
Aspinall > Gurney - Nathan's game looks to be a little bit better than Daryl's, and he has the confidence of having picked up a major title this year. Probably will be made to work for it, but should get the job done
van Veen > Chisnall - Appears a very competitive game on the face of things. I'll go with Gian here given Dave's slipped up on a few occasions on TV, and at the last 32 stage there might not be huge pressure on Gian to do something special yet

Round 4

Ross Smith > Michael Smith - When I say people don't recognise how well Ross is playing right now, I mean it. Michael's top game is better, but his general game right now isn't as good as Ross's is from where I'm looking. Certainly not by much, I expect this'd be close, but Ross to come through
Cross > Ratajski - Krzysztof's a strong player, but he's not quite at the level which Rob's been demonstrating this year, could be moderately competitive but I think Rob gets home
Littler > Williams - Can honestly see Luke's run going further. Said last season that Wade and Williams, when they played, were basically the same player. If Luke beats James, then saying he wouldn't beat Jim would be a bit inconsistent
Price > Anderson - This would be an absolutely explosive last sixteen match up. Gary could absolutely take it, but I'm going with the player that should be younger and fresher
van Gerwen > Bunting - I think this one would actually be very close. Michael doesn't seem untouchable like he was around 2017 or so, and Stephen's game is that much in the ascendency. Would not be surprised if Bunting was to get an upset, but I think MvG will have just enough
Rock > Noppert - Can't see Josh dropping the ball at the last sixteen stage this time. Josh I think has more gears to use than Danny has, that'll probably be the difference, if Josh has a poor showing then Danny's floor game would be enough, but I think he shows up to this one
Humphries > Searle - These two have had good games this season, and Ryan's been able to keep them competitive, can't see this being a walk over but do see it as one where Luke will have a set or two where he's unplayable that makes the difference
Aspinall > van Veen - I don't see a huge level of difference between the level of van Veen's potential opponents in rounds three and four as I've got it projected. Where I do see a difference is in Aspinall having gone deep in this before and having won majors before, and maybe at this stage the expectations on Gian add a bit too much pressure, the combination allowing Nathan to do what Chisnall doesn't

Quarter Finals

Cross > Smith - This comes down to course and distance for me - Rob's obviously won a world title before, while Ross has just the one major and would be well into uncharted territory at the worlds. In a game that's otherwise close, experience would be key for me
Price > Littler - Luke's run comes to an end here, while he's remarkably talented and the sky is the limit, he is not an elite level player right now. Gerwyn is
van Gerwen > Rock - Michael's got all the better statistics, has the knowledge of what to do at this stage, and I think there's be points in the match where Josh would have a duff leg or miss a key double, and van Gerwen would capitalise on it
Humphries > Aspinall - Can't see Nathan being able to keep up with someone playing at Luke's current level of form in a first to five sets match. He'd probably get a couple of sets, maybe slightly more, but Humphries' level of confidence is such that I just can't see a realistic path for Nathan to get five

Semi Finals

Price > Cross - If this was early season Price, I'd be a lot more confident in this one. Do think that late 2023 Price is just a touch better than Rob is, can't see this one being a blow out for sure, but Price should return to the final
van Gerwen > Humphries - Incredibly hard to pick against Luke, and this looks like it's a game that'd be very close to a coin flip. I'm just going to take the more experienced player, maybe it's a bit too much of an acceleration to get to the final here


Price > van Gerwen - I think whichever final we get this year is going to be a really close one - I just think van Gerwen's shown a few more slip ups over the course of the year, and in a final like this, those might result in the key break of throw or opportunity that makes the difference and allows Price to claim a second world title

1 comment:

  1. I'm going with Nijman to beat Gurney and that's just a reflection of how good Wesley has been since his return, Daryl has had a solid year too. Clayton upset is a spicy pick, personally have him losing to Ratajski in round three.

    Wright to lose to Williams agree, Jim to have a big run. My unexpected seed to lose is Rock, Woodhouse is a nightmare draw. But if he wins, he's probably going really deep. Gian for the quarters here!

    I usually don't like Wade's efficient style, but think his experience spoils the Littler party. R.Smith/Dobey over M.Smith for sure and I'm actually taking either Price or Anderson to lose to Cross, then Rob to lose in the final to Luke or MVG