World Darts Championship Semi-Finals schedule, preview and predictions: Wright and Price contest Grand Slam rematch

Despite over three weeks of shocks, drama and history coming into existence, four majors champions collide on Monday evening as the William Hill World Darts Championship semi-finals take place at Alexandra Palace.

A highly-anticipated New Year’s Day final between defending champion Michael van Gerwen and his nearest rival Gerwyn Price remains within the realms of possibilities.

However, Nathan Aspinall and Peter Wright – both of whom have lifted the prestigious UK Open in recent years – will be looking to add to the many bolts out of the blue.

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN VS NATHAN ASPINALL

After emerging as a 500/1 semi-finalist 12 months ago, whilst having little to nothing in his bank account, Nathan Aspinall has embarked on yet another World Championship run to the last four.

‘The Asp’ was blown away by a rampant Michael Smith a year ago, with world number one Michael van Gerwen being his opposition this time around.

Aspinall, who’s lifted both the UK Open and US Darts Masters during a breakthrough year, defeated America’s Danny Baggish, Krzysztof Ratajski and Gary Anderson, before denying former World Youth champion Dimitri Van den Bergh in the quarter-finals.

Stockport’s Aspinall has came out victorious against the world number one twice in three attempts this year, including a monumental 6-1 victory whilst averaging 102 on the ProTour.

Van Gerwen is competing in his fourth successive World Championship semi-final, having dropped just one set leading up to the quarter-finals, thrashing Jelle Klaasen, Ricky Evans and Stephen Bunting.

His clash with Darius Labanauskas was one of slightly tougher proportions, though, thanks to numerous squandered doubles from the Lithuanian, the Dutchman breezed through.

Aspinall’s finishing has been slightly concerning, and is in fact the worst of the final four, whilst van Gerwen’s lack of concentration has been detectable, namely his rather bizarre decision to attempt a 141 finish after his last eight opponent, Labanauskas, pinned back-to-back maximums, despite still having 444 on the board.

Prediction: 6-3 Van Gerwen

GERWYN PRICE VS PETER WRIGHT

When Gerwyn Price and Peter Wright locked horns in November’s Grand Slam of Darts final, the Welshman produced a career-best televised performance in wiping the floor with the former major champion.

Despite standing on the brink of a World Championship final, both Price and Wright could quite easily have fallen at their first hurdles, narrowly surviving scares at the hands of William O’Connor and the Philippines’ Noel Malicdem, respectively.

Markham’s Price was left counting his lucky stars as O’Connor mistakenly attempted to hit double one, whilst having four on the board, while Wright required two visits of brilliance to see off the fearless Filipino, Noel Malicdem.

Wright pinned 302 in two visits to the oche, following up three majestic treble 18s with a blistering 140 checkout, leaving the three-time PDC Asian Tour event champion star-struck.

Since an eventful opening round, Price has remained dominant in reaching the semi-finals, in spite of being blistering yet inconsistent in patches. ‘The Iceman’ averaged 104 in whitewashing John Henderson, before setting up a last eight showdown with Glen Durrant with a lacklustre victory over Simon Whitlock.

Price subsequently ended three-time world champion’s unbeaten World Championship streak of 1,451 days, thrashing ‘Duzza’ 5-1 with a terrific display.

In contrast, Wright has become embroiled in tussles throughout since denying Malcidem. He saw off Japan’s Seigo Asada, before narrowly denying Jeffrey de Zwaan.

‘Snakebite’ produced his career-best World Championship performance in the quarter-finals in convincingly seeing off Luke Humphries, whilst averaging over 106 at Ally Pally.

Wright faced the Welshman during the 2014 World Championship, and whitewashed him whilst being the firm favourite. Price, though, has won four of the pair’s last five meetings, with ‘Snakebite’ holding a 13-5 advantage.

Prediction: 6-4 Price

About The Author

Ben Hudd Ben is a dedicated sports writer and aspiring sports journalist, covering all aspects of darts for the ever-growing Darts Planet TV. He has a passion for sport, particularly darts, cricket and football.

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