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Adrian Lewis v Phil Taylor World Matchplay live stream - Taylor out to continue Blackpool procession

Brendan O'Neill in Darts 29 Jul 2017
Mutual respect: Lewis and Taylor (credit:PDC)

Stoke's two most successful darting exports face off for a place in the 2017 World Matchplay final as Adrian Lewis takes on Phil Taylor in Blackpool on Saturday night.

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Once sparring partners, now competitive rivals, the box office duo collide in a repeat of the record-breaking 2013 final at the iconic Winter Gardens.

Taylor averaged 111 to Lewis's 106 in an 18-13 victory on that occasion, and after sensationally ending the reign of Michael van Gerwen last night, 'The Power' will be out to pick up from where he left off.

Taylor rolled back the years to dismantle the defending champion 16-6 and become the overnight favourite to claim a fairy-tale 16th Matchplay crown in his final appearance before retiring at the end of the season.

The 56-year-old has dropped just 14 legs in defeating Gerwyn Price, Raymond van Barneveld and MVG with a tournament average of 99.3.

Buoyed by a partisan Blackpool crowd, Taylor will be determined to keep his dream of a crowning glory alive and avoid falling agonisingly short at the penultimate hurdle.

Lewis, meanwhile, has pushed the pain barrier to advance to the business end of the sport's summer show-piece just weeks after undergoing back surgery.

Taylor and Lewis share a joke on stage (Photo by PDC)6x5x4x3xThe world number four followed up wins over Steve Beaton and Rob Cross with a nail-biting 16-13 defeat of Alan Norris to secure his spot in a fourth Matchplay Semi-Final.

Lewis has not won a major televised singles title since the 2014 UK Open, and with the pressure largely off this week, may feel this could be his time.

This will be the 73rd competitive meeting between the two players, with Taylor having come out on top 53 times, including three of their last four Premier League encounters.

Their latest show-down gets underway from around 8.45pm BST and will be contested over the best of 33 legs at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

The match will proceed for a maximum of five additional legs before a tie-break leg is required. If the score reaches 19–19 then the 39th leg will be the decider.

Either UK Open champion Peter Wright or US Masters finalist Daryl Gurney will await the winner in Sunday's final.

Player's View:

Lewis: "If I finish like I did against Alan Norris then there's only one way for me and that's home.

"But if I have a good night's rest and feel fresh for tomorrow then I've got a good chance.

"I'll be the underdog but I'm used to it now."

Taylor: "If I have the same support from the crowd, Adrian's going to feel it.

"I'm not thinking about the title. I'm taking it one leg at a time and one game at a time.

"That's what I've been doing wrong, I've been in front and I've been thinking about it."

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