World Matchplay Darts: Coral’s five picks for the title
The World Matchplay in Blackpool is one of darts’ premier events, and is favoured in particular by 16-time world champion and all-time great Phil Taylor.
Ahead of the famous tournament at the Winter Gardens, Coral writers pick five players, including The Power, that can challenge for the title.
Taylor has incredibly won 15 times here (13 of the last 15), and just one other player competing this year has lifted the title, James Wade in 2007 – the last time someone other than The Power triumphed.
Gary Anderson – 5/1
Scotsman Anderson is having the year of his life, having won the World Championship and Premier League, as well as reaching the World Cup of Darts final for his nation, and is enticingly priced to claim his first ever World Matchplay.
The Flying Scotsman has become an accomplished player now, and is one of the most feared opponents on the PDC circuit.
Dave Chisnall – 14/1
Aged just 34, Chizzy is becoming a rising star in the sport, after causing shock after shock this year in the Premier League Darts to qualify for the semis.
St Helens-born 180 specialist Chisnall was unlucky not to reach the final at the O2, but is surely due a major title soon, having now been a beaten finalist at the World Grand Prix (2013) and Grand Slam of Darts (2014).
Phil Taylor – 10/3
No one ever has been, or perhaps will be, so dominant in darts or even any individual sport as Taylor has. The 54-year-old has practically owned the game for the last 25 years and is still going strong.
Taylor also comes into one of his favourite tournaments in great form too, after many (once again) wrote him off at the beginning of the year, following wins in the World Cup and recent Japan Masters events.
At 10/3, punters should pile their money on this darting colossus to claim an eighth successive World Matchplay trophy, which would be his 17th overall from just 22 editions of the competition.
Michael van Gerwen – 7/4 favourite
While Taylor is the greatest player in darting history, Van Gerwen is the world number one and has been for some time now – for a good reason.
Mighty Mike, still just 26, is undoubtedly the future of the sport, and The Power will be aiming to restrict him from gaining on his title totals while he is still able to. Even so, the Dutchman already has the likes of World Championship, World Grand Prix, Premier League, and Masters trophies to his name.
One competition that has eluded Van Gerwen to date has been the World Matchplay, although he did reach the final last year, where he was thrashed 18-9 by Taylor. He is lacking major trophies this year, although he did claim the Coral UK Open in March, so will be itching to get his hands on this one.
Peter Wright – 25/1
Snakebite, 45, will be hoping to avoid earning the title of perhaps the greatest player never to win a major trophy. However, the Scottish-born, English-sounding star is fast becoming the Colin Montgomerie of darts after being runner-up in the World Championship (2014), World Cup (2015), UK Open (2015) and, most recently, the Japan Masters.
Like Chisnall, Wright has been unlucky not to win a top title, but can take heart from recent runs this year at tournaments, so punters could earn big bucks by backing him.
Coral’s betting tip – Taylor to win the World Matchplay title at 10/3