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Snakebite has lost all nine ‘premier’ TV finals against MVG – they meet on January 1, live on Sky Sports Darts
Last updated: 12/31/19 6:53 PM
Five years after their first final of the World Championship, Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen meet again for the title
After predicting a place in the final of the Darts World Championship against Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright gets the chance to finally conquer the man who has prevented him from becoming champion more than once.
Snakebite fought its way through a missed match arrow by Noel Malicdem in the second round, survived a Luke Humphries fighter in an Ally Pally classic and overcame a lack of sleep to reach his second final.
The last hurdle is perhaps the biggest, his ultimate arch enemy: MvG, the number 1 in the world and title defender who only wants to become the third man to win four titles.
Wright and Van Gerwen know the history, but while the Dutchman has the statistics on his side, Wright tries to put himself in a position of authority.
2:35 Wright says Gerwyn Price was “nowhere near him” after he defeated the Welshmen to advance to the final
Wright says Gerwyn Price was “nowhere near” after defeating the Welshmen to advance to the final
“He (Michael) played me in the past and I lost those games – I gave them away in the past and now I don’t give anything away,” Wright said after a 6-3 win over Gerwyn Price on Monday night.
0:26 Wright achieved a payout of 140 to fight back from the brink of defeat
Wright achieved a payout of 140 to fight back from the edge of the defeat
“I believe (I’m in the best shape), but Michael can just show up and play some great darts, so it depends on the day.”
When he looked at the large screen in the corner of the media room where the world No. 1 was equal to Nathan Aspinall, he added: “I have done my job, he just has to do his job. And I will have the trophy. “
New Year’s Day
The final Michael van Gerwen (1) v (7) Peter Wright best of 13 sets
Live World Darts Championship
January 1, 2020, 7:00 PM
Wright talks a good game – and with good reason. There is history and plenty of it. It is almost as if Wright must convince himself that the previous confrontations will mean nothing on New Year’s Day.
Van Gerwen leads the head-to-head 59-17 and has defeated Snakebite in their nine major broadcast finals, Wright has in fact lost 12 of his 13 showpiece finals since he burst with his run to the final at Alexandra Palace in the 2014 scene.
Snakebite lost in his first World Championships final against MvG in 2014 – it gave the Dutchman his first world crown
That defeat was in the hands of Van Gerwen and that run five years ago came under the radar.
The 49-year-old has been arguably the most consistent player in this year’s championship and most observers agree that the UK Open 2017 is a small reward for a man who has been at the top for the past five years.
“It would just be another trophy, my second,” he laughed when he was asked how much, and what time, would be another big title.
“It would be huge. I just have to go upstairs and play my game, like I played this tournament and we’ll see who wins.”
Van Gerwen has been far from his best for the past three weeks. He has done what he has to do, winning four of the five sets on fifth leg decision makers to end Aspinall’s hope. It did not go unnoticed by Wright, who was far from impressed by the defending champion, as he told Stuart Pyke in his Sky Sports interview after sending the Iceman.
The Dutchman knows that he needs to improve, but he also knows that history is on his side
Wright’s story of Van Gerwen wee – grand finale
World Championships lost 7-4 (sets) 2015 UK Open lost 11-5 2015 Final World Series lost 11-10 2016 UK Open lost 11-4 2016 Final World Series lost 11-9 2017 Premier League lost 11-10 2017 Grand Slam lost 16 -12 2018 World Grand Prix lost 5-2 (sets) 2019 Champions League lost 11-10 legs unless otherwise stated
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“I hope I can play a little better than I have done so far in this tournament and I look forward to the final,” he said.
“Peter usually plays me, he blows up and misses double arrows and that’s a good thing for me – I think he’s more afraid of me than of him.”
For Wright, despite his protests, the missed opportunities are ticking him away and the latest evidence suggests that they are also gnawing at crucial moments. The Champions League and the infamous Premier League 2017 final immediately come to mind this year.
Both games went to the final leg of decision makers, but on both occasions Wright missed match darts. Seven at The O2 in May 2017 when Van Gerwen fought back from 5-1 and 7-2 down to win against a desolate Snakebite.
And then again in October in the Champions League, when Wright blew four missed match darts and lost a 10-7 lead with 11-10 and the Dutchman cleared every title broadcast.
Snakebite maintains that they are in the past, but it is hard to believe that those last shoot-outs, or Van Gerwen’s answer to the ‘right things at the right times’, will not play their part.
So back to the prediction that came to Germany a few weeks ago.
“I already told MVG that I would play him in the finals on the worlds when I did an exhibition in Germany in December. I said,” I’ll see you there. “
“I’m not going to throw it away anymore, I’m more mature now, all other finals are in the past. You can’t change the past. You can change the future. I have three arrows to change the future.” “
It was true that Wright spoke the words with steely determination while Van Gerwen was in action a few hundred meters away because Van Snwen has always been there for Snakebite.
He will be back when the battle for sports to become the world’s first world champion of the 1920s takes place on Wednesday evening in North London.
The coverage of the final of the World Darts Championship starts on Sky Sports Darts from 19:00 on New Year’s Day – follow our @SkySportsDarts for updates, in-play clips and more, while our website follows all the action, build-up and cancellation.