Dutch to make short work of Englishmen
Like when Christmas day arrives when you’re a kid it is undoubtedly an exciting time, but there is always the knowledge that it is all going to be over by tomorrow, so we reach the final day of the Grand Slam of Darts.
The Wolverhampton based event has become one of the very best on the calendar and this week has perhaps been the greatest in the competition’s short history with every single session proving un-missable.
Now there are just four men left; each has played out of their skin to get to this stage and despite how well they have all performed, the bookies can only see one matchup making up the final, and that will be an all Dutch affair between Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld. First though they must get past Dean Winstanley and Andy Hamilton respectively and anyone who has ever played either of those two men will know that is easier said than done.
Barney versus the Hammer is first up on Sunday afternoon and although on form over the last year or so you would think Hamilton may have the edge, the record between the two is as one sided as you could hope to see. The Englishman hasn’t triumphed over the five time world champ since 2006, losing to the Dutchman in near enough every big tournament since and with Barney looking like he is playing somewhere near his best this looks like it could well continue.
It is never wise to write off Hamilton as he has proved over and over again, but Barney has averaged over 100 in both his previous two matches and if he can produce that again then the Hammer simply won’t be able to live with him. No semi-final has been closer than 16-11 for the last three years so there is precedent for fairly comfortable wins and this could be one for Barney, it is 6/5 with Bet Victor for him to win it with a -3.5 handicap.
The second contest between van Gerwen and Winstanley could prove to be an even more one-sided affair, which is no slight on the Yorkshireman but just a reflection on how unbeatable Mighty Mike has looked. Even 100 averages haven’t really got close to the Dutchman and really Winstanley is more a mid-nineties player over the longer format. The prices start creeping into odds-against at van Gerwen (-6.5) but I think we can go one step further than that and have him winning by eight legs. It pains me to say it as I’m a big fan of Deano but Michael just looks unplayable at the moment.
Raymond van Barneveld (-3.5) to win @ 6/5 with Bet Victor
Michael van Gerwen (-7.5) to win @ 7/4 with Sky Bet
• Dutchmen dominate Grand Slam
• Barney the next to fall to Mighty Mike
• Kist to topple Barney again
• Anderson to face Hammer blow
• Van Gerwen could seize Power
• Nicholson and Dolan to take qualification to the wire
• Expect big scores as the Count meets Mighty Mike
• Harms good value on current form
• Must win matches for Saturday's losers
• A little bit of history repeating
• Artist and Webby offer Grand Slam value
• Plenty of value on offer at the Grand Slam