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Michael van Gerwen comfortable with favourite tag

Updated: Tuesday, 31 Dec 2013 21:00 | Comments

Michael van Gerwen recorded an average of 103.02 in his semi-final over Adrian Lewis
Michael van Gerwen recorded an average of 103.02 in his semi-final over Adrian Lewis

Michael van Gerwen insists he can handle the pressure of being an overwhelming favourite when he takes on Peter Wright in the PDC World Championship final on Wednesday.

The world number two cruised through his side of the draw and reached the final for a second consecutive season after demolishing Adrian Lewis 6-0 in their semi.

Wright, who is ranked 16 in the world, took advantage of the shock second-round exit of 16-time champion Phil Taylor to beat his conqueror Michael Smith and move into his first final at Alexandra Palace.

Van Gerwen was beaten 7-4 by Taylor in last year's New Year's Day showpiece but will be strongly fancied to beat his 43-year-old opponent, who did not feature in either guise of the World Championship between 1996 and 2009.

But the Dutchman is refusing to take anything for granted as he plots to put his name on the trophy for the first time.

"Peter Wright has played a fantastic tournament," he told Sky Sports News. "He's played well in all games and not only in this tournament, he's played well all year.

"I need to watch out for him. He can do very good things and I need to prepare myself for that very well.

"When you are favourite there is always pressure on you but yesterday the pressure was on my shoulders as well but it didn't affect my game at all.

"It would be amazing if I can win but it's too far away. I'm really looking forward to the final.

"I never expected to play Peter Wright in the final but he deserves to be in that final."

He added on Sky Sports 1: "If you look at Peter Wright's averages in the last game, he's playing well. He did some cracking things and I cannot underestimate him.

"The confidence is there but I'm only in the final.

"It will be in my dreams and hopefully this year my dream comes out.

"I can do everything but it's on the day. I can't say now that I'm going to do this and this but I want to play very well and I want to play the same as I did (in my semi-final) or maybe better.

"I don't know what I'm going to expect in the final. First time for him in the final, second time for me and who knows what is going to happen."

Wright was clearly emotional following his 6-2 semi-final victory over Simon Whitlock but his 100.24 average in that game belied any emotions he may have been feeling on stage.

His flamboyant hair and dress, which has made him a crowd favourite at the tournament, would not suggest a man who suffers with nerves and he insists he is just trying to play every match on its merits.

"I've just been going up there and just pretending it's a first round match," he told Sky Sports News.

"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.

"I've got more and more experience this year on the circuit so I'll be more prepared to play Michael in the final.

"I'll give him a better game and I'll push him all the way."

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