2017 World Championship Darts preview
Michael van Gerwen has had a brilliant twelve months and the only thing missing from his locker is a World Championship crown.
MVG has won at Alexandra Palace once before, with the Dutchman triumphing in 2014 although he was beaten at the semi-final stage two years ago and knocked out in the third round twelve months ago after an inspired performance by Raymond van Barneveld.
Van Gerwen has won every other significant tournament on at least two occasions and the 27-year-old is red-hot favourite to land the spoils at this most prestigious tournament, with William Hill going 1.73 about Mighty Mike.
However, this is the stage where every player raises their game and perhaps he won’t have things his own way in north London. For starters, there’s the small matter of Gary Anderson playing in this competition and the Flying Scotsman is bidding to win a third successive crown.
Anderson seems well-suited to the set format of the World Championship and he’s unbeaten on this stage since the 2014 event, with the Scot 7.50 with BetVictor to claim a hat-trick of titles.
Anderson seems to have avoided the majority of big guns in his side of the draw, with Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld all thrust into the second quarter at Alexandra Palace.
Taylor is a 10.00 shot with bet365 to win a seventeenth World Championship although the Englishman’s crown appears to be slipping and perhaps the odds should be even bigger about The Power.
Peter Wright makes more appeal at 17.00 considering that Snakebite is in the bottom quarter of the draw and could reach the semi-finals simply by fending off modest opposition and beating James Wade along the way.
The Machine is a 41.00 chance and Wade will also fancy his chances of making the last four of the competition, with the player from Aldershot continuing to prove he’s a top eight player.
Adrian Lewis might be two-time world champion but Jackpot is a 34.00 chance with Unibet to make it a third crown at Alexandra Palace, with Dave Chisnall available at 36.00 although he’s in the same section as MVG.
MVG by rights should be the overall winner, although there could be more mileage had from backing him to reach the final along with Anderson. Alternatively, we like Wright to come out of the 4th Quarter and it’s worth seeing what odds are available there.