BetVictor Darts Masters 2019 Day Three preview and order of play: Last eight go for glory

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 3 Feb 2019
Joe Cullen celebrates (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The first silverware of the new PDC season is up for grabs at the BetVictor Masters on Sunday as the eight remaining hopefuls battle it out in Milton Keynes.

The opening two days of action at the Marshall Arena has seen the field halved, with an unmissable double-header on Sunday featuring the Quarter-Finals, Semis and final. 

Michael van Gerwen is now an incredible 17 games unbeaten in this competition and looks to move a step closer to a fifth consecutive Masters crown by overcoming German Masters champion Mensur Suljovic.

The reigning World Champion began the campaign with a routine 10-5 victory over Jonny Clayton on Friday, averaging 99, and will look to go through the gears in the first of three potential long-haul contests on finals day.

Van Gerwen has dominated their recent encounters over similar formats, thrashing the Austrian 10-1 in the final of the 2016 European Championship before recording a 10-4 victory in the Quarter-Finals of this event in 2017.
 
Suljovic is aiming to stop the rot and make it back-to-back Semi-Final appearances at the BetVictor Masters and will take considerable encouragement from his red hit opening display in which he averaged 106 in a 10-1 rout of Simon Whitlock.

James Wade, the only other player in the line-up to have lifted this trophy, steps up his quest for a third televised title since October when he faces debutant Joe Cullen.

Wade, who makes his Premier League return next Thursday, opened up with a 10-7 victory over Gerwyn Price on Saturday but will be eyeing a marked improvement on his match average of 86.

Cullen marked his first Masters outing with an impressive 10-6 win over world number two Rob Cross and the European Championship semi-finalist now comes up against 'The Machine' for the first time in a televised tournament.

An all-St Helens affair kicks off the afternoon session as power-scorers Dave Chisnall and Stephen Bunting collide.

Chisnall, runner-up here in 2016, averaged 97.5 in a 10-8 victory over Players Champion Daryl Gurney in Round One and seemingly picked up from an impressive World Championship campaign which saw him reach the Quarter-Finals.

Bunting took full advantage of his late call-up to replace the injured Gary Anderson by knocking out Darren Webster in a dramatic deciding leg with a bullseye finish on Friday.

The 2014 Lakeside Champion is already entering uncharted territory in this elite invitational but will not be content to stop there and could set up a potential show-down with MVG in the evening's Semi-Finals.

Michael Smith looks to edge closer to back-to-back televised finals by denying an enigmatic Peter Wright in the fourth Quarter-Final.

Smith, who lost out in the World Championship final on New Year's Day, began the new season with a solid 101 average in a 10-5 win over Ian White and is bidding to add this title to his Shanghai Masters triumph in 2018.

Wright came from 3-0, 7-4 and 8-6 down and survived two match darts from Adrian Lewis before prevailing in a dramatic last-leg decider on Saturday but knows he must better his match average of 89 if he is to challenge for the title.

The world number three had gone five TV tournaments without a Quarter-Final and will be keen to push on and recapture the form which carried him to three televised finals in the first half of last season.

The action gets underway from 1pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs.


BetVictor Masters 2019 Schedule


Sunday February 3

Afternoon Session (1pm-4pm)

Quarter-Finals
Dave Chisnall v Stephen Bunting
Michael van Gerwen v Mensur Suljovic
Joe Cullen v James Wade
Michael Smith v Peter Wright
 
Evening Session (7pm-11pm)

Semi-Finals
Chisnall/Bunting v Van Gerwen/Suljovic
Cullen/Wade v Smith/Wright

Final


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BetVictor Darts Masters 2019 Day Three preview and order of play: Last eight go for glory

The first silverware of the new PDC season is up for grabs at the BetVictor Masters on Sunday as the eight remaining hopefuls battle it out in Milton Keynes.

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