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Three in-a-row for van Gerwen

Frank Monkhouse | 24 July 2017

Dutch star to shine in Matchplay

2017 World Matchplay Darts gets underway on Saturday evening from Winter Gardens, Blackpool. With a £500,000 prize fund on offer, we have the game’s biggest stars in attendance, looking to wrestle the crown from Michael van Gerwen.

The talented Dutchman tightened his grip over the PDC format 12 months ago with a convincing win vs Phil Taylor in the final, ending champion thanks to a 18-10 score. Fancy more of the same? Click here to back the winner, or place your match betting accumulators.

Mighty going for a hat-trick

It really is little surprise to see MVG go in at the head of the betting, and if you’re not used to seeing the man from Boxtel as pre-tournament favourite, you soon will be, as he’s going nowhere, and is actually getting better year on year. It’s easy to forget he’s still only 28 years old, and we can’t imagine a future for the sport that doesn’t involve him being a long-serving ruler.

Mighty is so good, in fact, he can now afford to pick and choose the tournaments he puts effort into. Not always pushing hard for the prize in the smaller competitions, that explains his recent patchy form, but we are in no doubt he’ll bring his A-Game to Blackpool, and will take some beating. Followers of the stats will be excited to learn that MVG has won this title in each of the last two years, and arrives aiming for a hat-trick. Will he get it? Our sports traders are in no mood to take him on, offering no more than the 8/11 currently doing the rounds.

Michael has been matched with Stephen Bunting on Monday evening, but there’s absolutely no danger of an upset, not according to the betting anyway. 1/33 says he’ll make light work of Bunting, the underdog at 11/1. Play the handicap market for a bit more value. -5.5 is 4/7, and that can be used in multiples.

Taylor looks overpriced

Phil Taylor has won this gong no less than 15 times. If van Gerwen gets anywhere near that he’ll be doing well. The Power has taken seven of the last nine renewals, but hasn’t banked the prize since a 2014 win over MVG. Has he still got it to compete at this level? Phil, now 56 years old, has admitted his best darts are behind him, and he will retire at the end of this year, saying he doesn’t have it to dedicate himself to a strict training regime any longer.

Taylor has made this tournament his own, will he want to go all out and win it one last time, just for old time’s sake? We’ve seen recently he’s a shadow of the man he once was, but the old spark is still there somewhere, it has to be. It’s always difficult to write Taylor off, especially at odds of 22/1.

Will he win this? Probably not. Can he win it? Of course he can. Has he been written off too easily by traders at 22/1? You bet. 11/1 to reach the final is another nice price, while there’s 3/10 on him beating Gerwyn Price on Sunday evening, and that’s well worth a punt.

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