2020 Betfred World Matchplay – Krzysztof Ratajski vs Michael Smith Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is Krzysztof Ratajski vs Michael Smith taking place? Thursday 23rd July, 2020 (session starts at 19:00 (UK))

Where is Krzysztof Ratajski vs Michael Smith taking place? Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes

What channel is Krzysztof Ratajski vs Michael Smith on? Sky Sports

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

Where can I get tickets for Krzysztof Ratajski vs Michael Smith? The 2020 Betfred World Matchplay will take place behind closed doors

What was the outcome in the last meeting? Krzysztof Ratajski beat Michael Smith 6-4

THE LOWDOWN

KRZYSZTOF RATAJSKI

  • Krzysztof Ratajski battled his way through to the quarter-finals with a 12-10 victory against Germany’s Gabriel Clemens in a tense and fascinating second round battle on Tuesday night.
  • The Polish Eagle didn’t hit the heights of his tremendous display against Wattimena in round one but he still produced a very good performance in which he averaged 99.69.
  • Ratajski has a winning record against Smith with four victories from their seven encounters - including each of the last two - this is by far their most high profile meeting though.

MICHAEL SMITH

  • Michael Smith was forced to dig very deep to reach the quarter-finals as he came from behind to defeat Mensur Suljovic 14-12 in a thrilling last 16 battle which contained eight ton-plus checkouts.
  • Bully Boy had a slow start to the match which resulted in him trailing 4-1 at the first break and he then looked set for defeat when Suljovic led 9-6 but managed to rally and force the game into extra-legs
  • The 2019 Matchplay runner-up was again up against it at 12-11 down but a combination of good fortune and skill saw him get over the line, with Suljovic missing seven darts at double in the last two legs and Smith taking out a tremendous 110 checkout to seal his passage through to the last eight.

THE PREDICTION

Krzysztof Ratajski and Michael Smith have had similar passages through to this stage of the tournament with an easy win in round one followed by an epic tussle in the last 16 so they will both be extremely battle-hardened coming into this match. There can be no doubting that Smith has the edge in terms of big match experience and the fact he has played more games over a long format such as this is likely to stand him in good stead. How well Ratajski will fare over a match of this distance is more unknown but I think he has the consistency and mentality to cope. The pressure of the occasion is likely to be a factor for both players but maybe more so for Smith who is desperate to win a major and he’ll see this as a great opportunity. I’m anticipating a very close match and am leaning towards Ratajski to come through as the winner at the end of it.

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