Wright relaxed for tungsten showpiece

Peter Wright insists he will continue to play without nerves when he faces Michael Van Gerwen in the final of the PDC World Darts Championship (Wright 100/30, Van Gerwen 1/5 Match Betting).

The two stars will go head-to-head at Alexandra Palace on New Year’s Day for the biggest prize in the sport, with not many people predicting that Wright would toe the oche on January 1.

Van Gerwen always looked as though he would be there, however, as he has been in superb form over the past few months and his 6-0 demolition of Adrian Lewis in the semi-finals proves that he is the man to beat in north London this time around.

Most pundits suggested that it would be Phil Taylor who opposed the Dutchman in a repeat of last year’s final, but Wright has earned his place with some impressive displays along the way.

The Scot has battled past the likes of Michael Smith, Wes Newton and Simon Whitlock, with a 6-2 thrashing of the Aussie in Monday’s semi-final.

The 43-year-old has looked composed throughout the tournament and has taken everything in his stride, and, with the biggest match of his life on the horizon, the man nicknamed ‘Snakebite’ has made it clear that he will continue in the same manner.

“I’ve just been going up there and just pretending it’s a first-round match,” he said. “I’ve not been trying to make myself nervous thinking it’s the quarter-finals, semi-finals, things like that.

“I’m just preparing as a first-round match every match.”

Wright has won two of his five matches by a single set and may well have to go the distance if he is to get past the red-hot favourite and claim the riches on offer (Wright 14-1 to win 7-6).

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