Taylor and MVG to impress again
There is little argument that the best player on the planet at the moment is the newly crowned Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen. Having become only the fourth man ever to win that competition and by beating Phil Taylor in the final he confirmed his place at the pinnacle of the sport and he will now go into every tournament he competes in as favourite.
He certainly goes into his contest at the Dubai Duty Free Masters with Wes Newton as a heavy odds-on favourite and it is very difficult to see any outcomes other than a fairly comfortable win for the young Dutchman.
Newton was certainly not embarrassed in his debut Premier League season but he equally didn’t set the world on fire and didn’t exactly cement himself in the upper echelons of the PDC. He has responded well by winning the second European Tour event of the year though and it will be no surprise if he is at the business end of major tournaments this year, but not this one.
Quite simply MVG is just too good for the vast amount of darts players on the planet and despite Newton being a quality performer he falls into the category of those that cannot live with him. This is why Mighty Mike is a best price of 1/5 to beat the Warrior whilst Newton is all the way out at 9/2 with Bet365 which even with a generous offer like that, there won’t be many cashing in on it.
It should be a big win for Mighty Mike and it could be a fairly short evening’s work. Under 15.5 legs looks very feasible and whilst that is odds-on in places, Coral have made it 11/10 which is a pretty generous price.
The final quarter-final is a Stoke derby played out a long way from home as Phil Taylor takes on Andy Hamilton and it is being priced up in much the same way as the MVG contest. Taylor may have lost the Premier League final just a week ago but he is still in excellent form as anyone who can push van Gerwen close at the moment must be playing well.
Hamilton had another steady Premier League campaign and is now regularly dining at the top table of darts ever since his run to the final of the World Championships in 2012. He has a terrible record against the Power over the last few years but it has actually much improved of late. The Hammer had only ever defeated Taylor once before the turn of the year and that figure is now up to three as he has won two of the three contests they have played out this year.
Hamilton is certainly capable of winning a few legs off the world number one but it would be a huge surprise if he were to topple him for a third time this year. Taylor will be in the mood to have another crack at MVG in the semi-finals and keen to put on a show to a new audience in Dubai and I expect a strong performance from him. He could well win this reasonably easily and a -4.5 handicap looks about right, and at 5/4 looks a god price.
Michael van Gerwen v Wes Newton under 15.5 legs @ 11/10 with Coral
Phil Taylor (-4.5) to win @ 5/4 with Sky Bet