2019 Betfred World Matchplay – Michael Smith vs Mervyn King Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Michael Smith vs Mervyn King taking place? Thursday 25th July, 2019

Where is Michael Smith vs Mervyn King taking place? Winter Gardens, Blackpool

What channel is Michael Smith vs Mervyn King on? Sky Sports Action

Where can I stream Michael Smith vs Mervyn King? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go

Where can I get tickets for Michael Smith vs Mervyn King? Check https://www.pdc.tv/betfred-world-matchplay-tickets for ticket information

THE STATISTICS

All-time meetings: Michael Smith 6-7 Mervyn King
Last meeting: Michael Smith beat Mervyn King 6-5

THE PLAYERS

MICHAEL SMITH

  • Michael Smith fought back from trailing 4-1 at the first interval for the second match in a row as he defeated Germany’s Max Hopp 12-10 on Tuesday evening to reach the quarter-finals at the World Matchplay for the first time in his career.
  • The number five seed took out key checkouts of 130 and 120 for the second consecutive match but overall his finishing against Hopp was wasteful with 25 darts missed, and six legs lost where he had been first to a double.
  • Smith’s ever-improving consistency in major tournaments is shown by the fact that he has now reached the quarter-finals or better in each of the last three major ranking TV tournaments – having progressed through to the final at the 2019 World Championship and the last four at the 2019 UK Open.

MERVYN KING

  • Mervyn King defeated the defending World Matchplay champion Gary Anderson 11-8 on Tuesday evening to reach his first TV tournament quarter-final since the 2016 World Matchplay when he was narrowly beaten 16-14 by Phil Taylor.
  • His win against Anderson followed a similar pattern to his triumph over Aspinall in round one with some excellent finishing giving him an early advantage before his opponent came back strongly only for King to pull away again.
  • Although King has to be thankful for some wasteful finishing from Aspinall and Anderson on his way to reaching this stage of the tournament, his own checkout percentage of 58.33% across two matches shows how well he has been taking his chances.

THE PREDICTION

Michael Smith faces an unexpected, but not undeserving opponent in Mervyn King as he aims to go one step closer to claiming a first major ranking title on TV. The number five seed would have been expecting to be facing Gary Anderson or Nathan Aspinall rather than King, but as has been shown in the opening two rounds the veteran cannot be written off easily such has been the calmness and quality of his finishing during the tournament.

Smith has undoubted quality - especially in his scoring ability - but if there is a question mark over his play, it is that he is prone to missing clumps of doubles, and with King in the mood to punish wastefulness it promises to be a tricky night for the man from St. Helens. The experienced King will certainly not be phased by the occasion and actually leads their head-to-head record 7-6 but it does have to be mentioned that six of those wins for King came before the end of 2014 and Smith is a much different player nowadays.

When they last met on TV at the World Championship in December 2016 the match went all the way to extra-legs in the final set, and this encounter is also predicted to be close. King is tipped to cover a handicap of +2.5 and he has a realistic chance of overturning the number five seed.

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