The Grand Slam of Darts group stage nears its conclusion on day three. Groups E-H will be wrapped up, with eight players progressing to the knockout phase.
Two of the sixteen playing on Monday evening have already qualified, so six spots are up for grabs. Play at the Wolves Civic kicks off just after 7pm GMT.
Corey Cadby vs Glen Durrant: Group E was meant to be the ‘Group of Death’, but this tie doesn’t offer much in terms of drama. Durrant has already qualified after impressive wins over Peter Wright and Alan Norris. Meanwhile, Cadby has been knocked out after defeat against the PDC pair. The Aussie will want to beat the BDO world champion to avoid not picking up a single point. Victory for Durrant would mean he wins Group E, and would face the Group F runner-up.
Peter Wright vs Alan Norris: Having been expected to win Group E, ‘Snakebite’ needs to pick up two points to sneak through. Norris has played well so far, and will fancy his chances of a surprise win. If Wright can score heavily, as he did in a whitewash win over Corey Cadby, he should have too much firepower for Norris. Yet ‘Chuck’ isn’t averse to hitting a few maximums himself. Wright knows that even if he finishes second in the group, he could beat whoever of Stephen Bunting, Dave Chisnall or Scott Mitchell claims top spot in Group F.
Gary Anderson vs Simon Whitlock: This was expected to be a battle for top spot in Group H. Instead, Whitlock is out after two desperately disappointing defeats. Anderson was not distracted by Berry van Peer’s dartitis as Whitlock was, and the Scot’s calm demeanour will help a lot here. Victory would give Anderson top spot in the group, and a likely knockout clash with Michael Smith.
Berry van Peer vs Cameron Menzies: Two headline-grabbing young stars collide in Wolverhampton. 21 year-old van Peer stunned Simon Whitlock and performed bravely against Gary Anderson despite severe dartitis. Menzies’ free-flowing darts and fun-loving attitude have won him plenty of fans as well. The winner of this tie goes through, so there is plenty at stake. Whoever wins would be a major underdog, most probably against Mensur Suljovic, but they would have plenty of well-wishers.
Michael Smith vs Mark McGeeney: Having lost twice, BDO number one McGeeney is highly unlikely to go through. He would have to beat Gibraltar Open champion Smith to make it, and hope Mensur Suljovic helps him out. Smith will want to set up an intriguing tie with Gary Anderson, but James Wilson could yet help him reach first place in Group G.
Mensur Suljovic vs James Wilson: ‘The Gentle’ is still the red-hot favourite to win Group G. Suljovic was on form again in his win over Michael Smith, and would expect to beat Wilson. ‘Jammie’ had a horror start against Mark McGeeney before going on to win. But he cannot afford to let Suljovic get a head start. The Austrian’s ruthless finishing will be a vital factor here.
Dave Chisnall vs Jeffrey de Zwaan: Seventh seed Chisnall is in some trouble after a 5-2 defeat to Stephen Bunting. He needs to beat de Zwaan to sneak into the knockout phase. The Dutchman could cause ‘Chizzy’ real problems if he plays as he did when causing Bunting a scare on day one. A meeting with Glen Durrant or Peter Wright most likely awaits Chisnall, should he qualify from Group F.
Stephen Bunting vs Scott Mitchell: Two former BDO world champions clash in this Group F tie. Bunting has made an excellent start and would seal top spot with a win. Victory for Mitchell could see Bunting crash out, if a Dave Chisnall win and a leg difference swing works against him. Bunting is the better scorer, but will need to hit his doubles quickly to hold off ‘Scotty Dog’.
Author: Ed McCosh