2016 Players Championship darts preview


Can anyone stop Michael van Gerwen in Minehead? The Dutchman is starting to develop a stranglehold during 2016, with victories occurring in The Masters, UK Open, Premier League, World Matchplay, World Grand Prix, European Championship and Grand Slam of Darts.

He now returns to the scene of his 2015 triumph in the Players Championship, with MVG currently head and shoulders above everyone else in the world. The Green Machine was rarely troubled in the recent Grand Slam event, beating James Wade in the final and some will regard him as banker material.

Van Gerwen is no bigger than 1.80 with William Hill to claim a third Players Championship title, with Mighty Mike kicking off against Andy Hamilton who has dropped right down the rankings considering he has previously featured in the Premier League and reached a World Championship final.

It does look a tough section for MVG who could face either Raymond van Barneveld, Mensur Suljovic or Adrian Lewis in the quarter finals, with the seedings according to the Order of Merit.

The Order of Merit is simply down to the prize money won in the twenty Players Championships events during the season.

Section two looks a lot more open, with Simon Whitlock and Gerwyn Price the highest-ranked players that could be reaching a semi-final spot, while Alan Norris and Michael Smith are the unlucky ones squaring off in a first round match which could be a quarter final.

Benito van de Pas is the second-ranked player although Gary Anderson is in the third section and he is on a collision course to face Peter Wright or James Wade in the third round, with the Flying Scotsman 7.00 with bet365 to win this tournament.

There will be no Phil Taylor participating in this year’s tournament, with the sixteen-time world champion missing out and it could potentially open up the competition.

Dave Chisnall is a 29.00 poke with bet365 and the popular player is in the bottom section of the draw, with Ian White also placed in this quarter and the Stoke arrow thrower is 67.00 to claim an overall victory.

It’s hard to see past Michael van Gerwen providing that he’s in the groove although an inspired performance from a competitor could be enough to put him off his stride.

James Wade is a 28.00 chance and is in good nick, while Peter Wright was the player to get closest to Van Gerwen in the Grand Slam event and, on that basis, perhaps the 21.00 about Snakebite is the price to take.

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