2022 European Darts Matchplay Preview – JP

by | Jul 1, 2022

2022 European Darts Matchplay Preview

The darts are back today and James Punt’s 2022 European Darts Matchplay preview and outright tips are below.

The European Tour returns after a short break. The last event was the Dutch Darts Championship, which was won by Michael Smith. The player who tops the Euro Tour OOM is Luke Humphries who has picked up three tournament wins so far in 2002. Rob Cross has been a three-time runner up and we have the in-form Dimitri van den Bergh, World Cup winner Damon Heta and Premier League winner, Michael van Gerwen all in the line-up.

This will be the sixth European Darts Matchplay and MVG has won three, been runner up once and a losing semi-finalist. Joe Cullen is the defending champion having beaten MVG in 2019.

2022 European Darts Matchplay: The Seeds

The top 16 seeds join the draw at the second-round stage and I’ll take a quick run through their form and prospects for the weekend. As per usual these days, a Friday morning re-write was required due to the withdrawal of MVG, Michael Smith and Peter Wright. This in turn means that Daryl Gurney, Chris Dobey and Stephen Bunting being promoted to seeded players, while Jeffery de Zwaan, Gabriel Clemens and Luke Woodhouse received byes into the second round. All this means three less first round matches, six this afternoon and seven this evening.

1. Gerwyn Price

Still not in good form having lost five of his last ten matches. He won the opening Euro Tour event of the season and has played a much reduced schedule in Europe for various reasons since then. In fact, he has played just four ET matches since that win and lost three of them.

2. Ryan Searle

With five defeats in his last ten matches, Heavy Metal is not in great form. He reached the quarter final of ET5 but his overall Euro Tour form is not good. He has played 15 ET matches and won just seven.

3. Luke Humphries

With three Euro Tour titles from six played, runner up once and a beaten semi-finalist, Cool Hand Luke has arrived at the top table. He took time out after his back-to-back title wins in May and has only played seven matches since 22 May, but his seasonal win rate is 75% and he is a leading contender once again.

4. Jose De Sousa

The Special One continues to flat line with just five wins from his last ten matches. He has dropped over 2 points on his seasonal average and while his A game is still very good, there are too many poor performances to think a tournament win is around the corner.

5. Rob Cross

It is hard to knock form that shows him reaching three ET finals, but he will be frustrated not to get one over the line. He must be considered once again, and he will be hoping that Humphries gets knocked out early.

6. Joe Cullen

The defending Champion has struggled on the Euro Tour this year. Traditionally the ET was his happy hunting ground, but perhaps he was putting his energy into this year’s Premier League. It was worth his while if so, as he reached the final, losing in a deciding leg to MVG. He has lost five of his last ten, but after a break, I expect to see him improve on his record of played 13 won 5 in Europe so far in 2022.

7. Damon Heta

The Heat was an expensive player to follow in recent months. One of the best scorers in the game, but with a poor return in terms of tournament wins. However, his World Cup win with Simon Whitlock could be the making of him. He has reached two ET semi-finals in 2022 and is another contender this weekend.

8. Nathan Aspinall

It is hard to get a handle on The Asp. His 2022 win rate is 70% and he has won eight of his last ten matches, but he has only picked up one title. He is in good form having been runner up in the most recent Players Championship event and he has reached two ET semi-finals in 2022. A contender, but he might be getting a bit frustrated.

9. Jonny Clayton

The Ferret is having a rare loss of form. He has had dips in the last couple of years, but never for long, but he looks well below his best right now. He has lost six of his last ten matches and his last three in a row.

10. Dimitri van den Bergh

In great form in the World Series events, winning two, including in Amsterdam last weekend. He has won eight of his last ten matches, has been a runner up and beaten semi-finalist on this year’s Euro Tour and has to be on the shortlist this weekend.

11. Dirk van Duijvenbode

Runner up in Amsterdam last week, Dirk has won seven of his last ten matches, was also runner up in PC16 a couple of weeks ago and won PC 12 in April. Good form and realising his potential. Shortlist material.

12. Krzysztof Ratajski

A season of frustration continues for the Polish Eagle. He has won five of his last ten matches and is hard to fancy.

13. Martin Schindler

Schindy falls into the frustrating to follow bracket. There is no doubting that he is playing as well as ever in 2022 and his A game is top class, but he is failing to string more than couple of wins together. It seems likely he will find someone better at some point.

14. Chris Dobey

Hollywood is actually in better form than MVG, the seed he is replacing. He has won eight of his last ten matches and is talking a good game. He will have been looking at the likes of Joe Cullen and thinking ‘I can do that’. And he should. He has the game to be a much more successful player than he has been. He finds himself in a tough quarter, however. Dobey remains one of the heaviest scorers in the game and picked up two players championship titles in 2021. He needs to start taking the next step. He has played five ET matches in 2022 and lost three.

15. Stephen Bunting

The Bullet has enjoyed some success in this event, reaching the semi-final in 2018 and the quarter final in 2017. He has a win rate of 65% in 2022 and reached the semi-final of ET4 back in May, lost in the first round in his two other appearances. He is in decent form, winning six of his last ten, but he isn’t a player who wins tournaments.

16. Daryl Gurney

Superchin continues to tease, with flashes of his A game, but just not for very long. His win rate is a respectable 64% and he is in good form, with seven wins from his last ten. He has reached a players championship semi-final and a Euro Tour semi-final in 2022, but the last three months have seen slim pickings. Daryl faces Gabriel Clemens on Saturday, a match he should win on form, but Clemens has a 5-1 H2H record over Gurney. A win there would see a likely meeting with Noppert or Price, two more players he has a losing H2H record against.

Notable Non-Seeds

Danny Noppert

Another player who has bloomed in 2022. Won the UK Open in March and has been a runner up twice on the Euro Tour this season, including last time out when he lost 8-7 to Michael Smith. His win rate in 2022 is 74% and he has won seven of his last ten matches. Another contender, but he has a tough draw, with an opener against Rowby-John Rodriguez followed by Gerwyn Price, should he win that.

Callan Rydz

Played quite poorly in ET8 last time out but reached the semi-finals. He was runner up in PC 15 also in May. Rydz will win one, more than one, of these in the not too distant future but needs to learn not to rush the big points. He is a fast player but sometimes, too fast. Not without a chance, but likely to face Damon Heta in the second round.

Martin Lukeman

Not the heaviest of scorers but loving his Euro tour events. Runner up in ET 3, he has won seven of his last ten matches and could have another profitable run this weekend.

Scott Williams

Winner of the last players championship event, Williams has won eight of his last ten. Like Lukeman, he may not be the heaviest scorer, but he can do the right things at the right time, is very confident and loving life at the moment. Winning would be a surprise, but he can piss on a few people’s chips. He has won eight of his last ten matches and is full of confidence.

2022 European Darts Matchplay: The Draw

1st Quarter

It must be said that whoever come through this quarter will have earned it. The seeds are Price, Gurney, Clayton and Aspinall. It must be said that the two Welshmen, who would have been hot favourites to meet in the quarter finals a couple of months ago, are not in good form. The value arguably lies with Noppert and Aspinall.

2nd Quarter

This looks an easier quarter and more open for it. None of the seeds, De Sousa, Ratajski, Schindler and Cross are in top form, but Cross has been enjoying plenty of good runs on the ET this year. He’ll be a bit frustrated but experienced enough to know that he is heading the right way. I’ll take Cross to make another semi-final.

3rd Quarter

The bottom half of this quarter sees the in form Van den Bergh and Damon Heta and one of those two looks capable of making the semi-final. Heta may well face the dangerous Rydz in the second round and that is a tough prospect. Dimitri should have the easier opening match to get him settled in and He is the choice to progress.

4th Quarter

Arguably as tough as the 1st quarter. The four seeds are Humphries, Dobey, Cullen and Duijvenbode. All have great firepower and Humphries and Duijvenbode are running hot.

Ante Post Selections

The betting for this tournament is the most open for some time. With three of the big guns withdrawing and some of the others not in great form, the bookies are struggling to find a favourite. The two Welshmen are the favourites, with Clayton 7.00 and Price 8.00. Neither are in great form however and it may pay to look elsewhere.

Dimitri Van den Bergh is on a bit of a roll, winning two World Series events. They are not the most prestigious events, and easier to win that a Euro Tour or players championship, but wins breed confidence. Luke Humphries took time out after his back-to-back Euro Tour title wins and has played just seven matches since, winning five. That is not a lot of darts in the last six weeks, and his form is not as clear cut as it was. That said, he is very hard to ignore.

Rob Cross is due a Euro tour win and he has one of the better draws. Danny Noppert is a much-improved player in 2022. He is now a father and is a more mature player all round. He is having a lot of good runs and giving himself more chances to pick up titles.

Danny Noppert 1 point to win the 2022 European Darts Matchplay @ 31.00 with Betfair, Paddy Power
Rob Cross 1 point to win the 2022 European Darts Matchplay @ 15.00 with Boylesports, Betfair, Paddy Power
Dimitri van den Bergh 1 point to win the 2022 European Darts Matchplay @ 13.00 with Skybet
Luke Humphries 1 point to win the 2022 European Darts Matchplay @ 11.00 with Betfair, Paddy Power

Once again, the Euro Tour and Formula 1 (British GP Preview) clash so I won’t be covering this event round by round but will try and post any value bets that may occur over the weekend, starting with a look at the first round which will be put up a little later today.

-JamesPunt

 

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