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Painter to rattle Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in Grand Slam of Darts

Kevin ‘The Artist’ Painter has little left to play for in the Grand Slam of Darts after a 5-4 loss against Stuart Kellett ended the 46-year-old’s hopes of progressing from the group stage of this £400,000 tournament.

It doesn’t get any easier for Painter, with Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor – who has dropped just one leg in two group matches so far – up next at the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton.

Taylor is justifiably long odds-on at 1/12 to triumph in this first to five legs encounter, with Painter a distant 6/1 to overcome the 14-time world champion.

However, clashes between these two have been tighter than you might have guessed in recent times.

The Billericay-born right-hander has taken at least a leg off Stoke’s favourite arrow-thrower in their last five matches when six legs or less were required for victory.

Painter took three legs off Taylor in their most recent encounter at last year’s Championship League Darts, with the 53-year-old flinging phenomenon triumphing 6-3 on his way to a fourth overall win in the tournament.

The Power has won each of the last 28 meetings between these two – a run that dates back to the World Grand Prix in 2001 – and despite already qualifying for the last-16, Taylor will win again with something to spare.

Painter is 8/13 to win with a +3.5 leg handicap, with Taylor 6/5 to overcome the same figure.

Those odds seem about right, but to squeeze a bit more value for your money back Taylor to win 5-2 at 3/1.

Painter was 4-2 up on Kellett at one point in their Group H fixture and missed two match darts before letting the Manchester man back into the contest.

With the pressure off both players and little to play for except pride, Painter can keep the champ on his toes by sneaking a couple of legs in the Midlands.