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World Darts Championship: Aaron Ashley's betting tips

Only eight players remain in the hunt to be crowned champion of the 2023 PDC World Darts Championship and, even though the tournament has reached the quarter-final stage, it is still tough to pinpoint the winner.

Michael van Gerwen is 21/20 favourite to win the event for a fourth time and that is understandable given the destructive Dutchman has averaged over 100 in winning his three matches to date at Alexandra Palace.

However, the presence of 2021 champion Gerwyn Price, two-time runner-up Michael Smith and former Premier League winner Jonny Clayton means nothing is a foregone conclusion.

Throw Dimitri van den Bergh, Stephen Bunting, Chris Dobey and Gabirle Clemens into the mix and the competition is fierce, so any lapses in concentration from MvG are unlikely to go unpunished.

What: PDC World Darts Championship quarter-finals
Where: Alexandra Palace, London
When: 12:45, Sunday, January 1st 2023
How to watch: Sky Sports Darts
Odds: Michael van Gerwen 21/20, Michael Smith 10/3, Gerwyn Price 9/2, Jonny Clayton 10/1, Dimitri van den Bergh 18/1, Stephen Bunting 20/1, Chris Dobey 28/1, Gabriel Clemens 55/1

Classy Clayton can prevail

At last year's World Championship many expected Clayton to make his presence felt but this time around the Welshman has been going under the radar.

Smith had Clayton's measure in the fourth round last year but the 48-year-old has improved upon that effort, making the quarter-final of the showpiece event for the first time.

Winning four Major titles, including the Masters and the Premier League, shows Clayton can rise to the big occasion and he did remarkably well to stop rising star Josh Rock in the previous round.

Trailing 3-2, Clayton won the final two sets and an average of 97.73 indicates just how well he played.

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Another tough test is in store against Van Den Bergh but Clayton has won three of his last four meetings with the Belgian and can do so again.

Dancing Dimitri whitewashed overwhelmed compatriot Kim Huybrechts in the previous round, averaging 95.59, but Clayton is sure to have him under more pressure - and that is when the Belgian cracks.

The Welshman is 8/13 to come out on top, which is good value especially as the extended first-to-five format is likely to play to his strengths.

Bunting should keep Smith honest

Last year's runner-up Smith is hoping to make it third time lucky at Alexandra Palace, but Bunting should not be taken for granted.

Bully Boy was considered a choker after losing in all eight of his Major finals, which included twice in this Christmas bonanza.

But Smith got that monkey off his back when beating Nathan Aspinall 16-5 in the Grand Slam of Darts final in November, with many feeling that would take the shackles off in his pursuit of being crowned world champion.

Smith survived a scare in round three as he came from 3-1 down to defeat Martin Schindler but it was much more like it against Joe Cullen last time out, as he won 4-1 with an average of 103.25.

That makes him an obvious favourite for this quarter-final clash but Bunting raises his game for the big stage and won't go down without a fight.

Bunting was brilliant in beating Dave Chisnall 4-2 in round three, having averaged 102.24 and being 15 for 26 on the doubles.

And he proved that performance was no flash in the pan when averaging 99.43 in defeating Luke Humphries 4-1 in the fourth round, averaging 99.43 and firing in seven maximums.

Bunting, who made the semi-final at Ally Pally two years ago, turns into a different beast on this stage and, although victory may be beyond him, the 8/11 about him getting to three sets makes plenty of appeal.

Both players are capable of peppering the treble 20 bed and, with a long contest surely in store, going over 20.5 maximums is another good bet at 8/11.

Price set to punish German Giant

Despite having to deal with the usual hostility from the Ally Pally crowd, Price has eased into the quarter-finals and a last-four berth looks his for the taking.

Clemens is a class act but this is uncharted territory for the German Giant, who needed a seventh and deciding set to see off Jim Williams in round three.

The German found things easier against Alan Soutar last time up, winning 4-1 with an average of 93.96, but expect him to blink against the irresistible Price.

The Welsh number one is playing seriously well and has dropped just two sets in seeing off Luke Woodhouse, Raymond van Barneveld and Jose de Sousa.

The 2021 champion has won all four previous meetings with Clemens and on the biggest stage of them all should have a massive advantage.

Quotes of 1/5 tell you all you need to know but Price can win this a shade cosily. It is 4/6 that he wins by three sets or more and 6/4 that he wins 5-1 or better.

Van Gerwen set to take some stopping

Van Gerwen has looked back to his formidable best in recent months and the Green Machine is going to be difficult to deter in his pursuit of a fourth world title.

It has been three years since MvG was last crowned world champion but on this year's evidence he is hungry to stop the rot.

In 2022 alone Van Gerwen has won the Premier League, World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and Players Championship Finals and his three World Championship wins have all come with a 100-plus average.

The Dutchman has defeated Lewy Williams, Mensur Suljovic and Dirk Van Duijovenbode and, while Dobey is in good form, it is tough to give him a squeak.

Dobby has looked calm and composed in beating former champions Gary Anderson and Rob Cross, with a 102.13 average against Voltage showing his capabilities.

However, this is arguably the biggest game of Dobey's career so expect those levels to drop, especially against a fired-up Van Gerwen.

That said, Dobey has been piling in the maximums. The Geordie has had 21 180's across his three wins while MvG has managed 18.

So with Van Gerwen expected to win, backing the Dutchman to progress and Dobey to win the 180 battle makes plenty of appeal at 11/10.

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