2022 GSOD Semi Finals Preview and Tips – JP
2022 GSOD Semi Finals Preview
We were treated to two cracking games of darts last night but we had to go without a winner. You can rarely keep James Punt down for long, though, and he is back in action this evening. Check out James’ 2022 GSOD Semi Finals preview below.
Raymond van Barneveld vs. Michael Smith
This will be Barney’s first major semi-final since 2017 and his first Grand Slam semi-final since 2015. He certainly has turned the clock back and you cannot knock his form, winning nine of his last ten and winning all five of his matches in this event.
However, he has not won a ranking major semi-final since the Grand Slam of 2012. His tournament average is a very respectable 96.8 but he lacks the ultimate firepower of Smith, but that was the case vs. Price, and he beat him twice.
Smith A Slow Burner
Michael Smith took his time to get going in this event. He was pretty poor vs. Lisa Ashton but could afford to be, he was OK against Cullen, hit his A game against Edhouse, was solid against Cross and then pulled off a great comeback to deny Cullen, who was 15-13 up until Smith took the last three legs to steal the match.
Smith has won eight of his last ten and like Barney, he has won all five of his matches do far. Amazingly, both players’ tournament average is 96.8. Barney is playing above his seasonal average, Smith band on his and I feel like Smith has got a little more to give while we may have seen the best of Barney.
Their H2H record is 12-9 to Smith, in 2022 1-1 and since Barney’s comeback from retirement, 3-1 to Smith, and of those last four matches, three have required a deciding leg. On TV it is 6-5 with one draw, but Smith is unbeaten by Barney in their last seven on TV.
Both players have shown great resilience in the knockout stage, and both had to produce come from behind performances to win their quarter finals. More of that and we could have another close match.
Smith has played ten ranked major semi-finals and won five, but he has won all three he has played in 2022. He is the player with the freshest form in these big semis. He has played two Grand Slam semi-finals and lost both, including a 12-16 defeat to Peter Wright last year.
Smith is the 1.44 favourite with Barney 2.80. Smith looks a little short, and while I do expect him to win, I also expected Price to win and look what happened there.
2022 GSOD Semi Finals Tip: 1 point over 27.5 legs @ 1.95 with Hills, Boylesports
Smith had been a bit quiet in the 180 department until Friday night when he hit 14 in 31 legs against Joe Cullen. That was 0.451 per leg and brings his tournament rate to 0.344, which is less than Barney’s 0.357. Barney has upped his game in that department and it has helped his overall performance.
2022 GSOD Semi Finals Tip: 1 point over 16.5 180’s @ 2.20 with Unibet
Nathan Aspinall vs. Luke Humphries
Nathan Aspinall is a major winner; he won the 2019 UK Open, but he has only played in five ranking major semi-finals. He won just two of them, but he also has played in two Premier League semi-finals, winning one and he lost a Masters semi-final in 2020. He has built up a reasonable amount of experience of these big semi-finals, but most of them ended in defeat. He did win his most recent at this year’s Grand Prix.
His tournament average is 94.20, he has hit 16 maximums at 0.242 per leg and his checkout rate is 37%. He has won six of his last ten matches and while he has been solid, those tournament stats and recent win rate are not particularly eye catching.
Luke Humphries is still looking for his first major, but it is easy to forget that he is still only 27, the baby of the four remaining players. He was runner up in the 2021 UK Open and his only major semi-final was in that event.
His tournament average is 98.6, his checkout rate 37% and he has hit 16 maximums at 0.246 per leg. His recent form is six wins from his last ten and comparing their tournament stats and recent form, you would have to think it is going to be close. If it was a football match, it has draw written all over it.
Their H2H record is not extensive. They have met just 4 times with Aspinall winning three. In 2022 it is 1-1 and on TV 1-0 to Aspinall who beat Humphries 10-5 at the Matchplay in July. None of the five matches have been close, no deciding legs, and the overall leg score is 24-15 to Aspinall.
The H2H record is interesting and suggests that Aspinall should be favourite, but Humphries is a much improved player who got used to winning tournaments on the Euro Tour this year. Those are shorter matches, but he still had to win them and that will serve him well.
The market makes Humphries the 1.62 favourite and Aspinall 2.40. Humphries is the heavier scorer, but Aspinall is not going to be massively out gunned. The Asp has the better H2H record so he knows that he can beat Humphries and he has got the opponent he hoped for.
Humphries has been impressive for who he has had to beat. In just his last three he has beaten MVG, Josh Rock and Ross Smith, three very good and in-form players. Aspinall has beaten Soutar, Wattimena, a disinterested Peter Wright and Fallon Sherrock. I know which one has had a harder path to the semi.
Despite their H2H record being a bit one sided, I expect a closer match this time. They are similar players and playing at a similar level this week. Both will be nervous but Humphries’ winning experience should get him through and I think he can go all the way.