Can Mighty Mike continue to dominate?
The final European Tour event of the PDC calendar takes place over the weekend in Holland and with four different winners over the quartet of tournaments so far there will be plenty of men hoping to join the list of players who have conquered Europe.
Three of the previous winners, Phil Taylor, Justin Pipe and Raymond van Barneveld will be there in Nuland but the fourth, Adrian Lewis will not, and neither will the two men directly behind him in the world rankings James Wade or Gary Anderson. As ever Phil Taylor would have been favourite for the event but without the world numbers 2, 3 or 4 involved, there is a considerable gap in the odds after the Power.
With Taylor available at 6/4 there is a big jump to the next lowest priced man Simon Whitlock at 14/1 followed by the form players on the tour Michael van Gerwen and Dave Chisnall who are available at 16/1. It really has been a special month for Van Gerwen who has bookended his spectacular Grand Prix win with two Players Championship crowns meaning he has pocketed £112,000 just from tournaments he has won in October, incredible stuff. With another £15,000 on offer for the winner in Nuland he could further please his bank manager and more importantly for him, potentially leapfrog Andy Hamilton into seventh in the world.
If Mighty Mike continues to play as he has been in recent weeks then he could just be unstoppable, but as Eric Bristow keeps reminding us, Phil Taylor has the hump, and a pouting Power bodes ill for all who stand before him. He responded to the disappointment of the Grand Slam with a darting equivalent of the hair-dryer treatment at the Championship League as he bullied people with his relentless scoring and finishing and could easily do the same at the weekend.
Pipe, Chisnall, Whitlock and Wes Newton at 20/1 have to be considered contenders but their performances on stage are too inconsistent to back them with any real degree of confidence. The only men to really inspire a dip into the wallet ahead of this one are Van Gerwen and Taylor who although he didn’t sparkle in Dublin is always a good bet at anything better than evens. Unfortunately though these two are on the same side of the draw, so we can’t hope to see them in the final but they could meet in the last four and this would be something special. If that came to pass then it really could go either way, but given the much better odds and the outrageous form of the Dutchman, it will be worth backing him.
Michael van Gerwen to win @ 16/1 with Betfred