Wayne Mardle: Glen could spring a shock at the Grand Slam of Darts

Glen Durrant is a big priced Grand Slam of Darts selection

A unique test on the darts calendar begins on Saturday when the best of the PDC and BDO do battle. Wayne Mardle previews the betting here...

"I'm going for an MVG v Durrant Final. Like always, it Anderson plays well he makes the final, but Durrant's mean level is very high. It'll take a good one to beat him if he makes the knockout phase."

A unique event on the Calendar, not for just the fact that it'll have players from the British Darts Organisation competing, but also the group stage format.

The two top-placed players in each group after three matches will go through to the knockout phase.

There's always a 'Group of Death', and this year it has to be Group E where Peter Wright, Alan Norris, Corey Cadby and Glen Durrant are battling it out.

Here is the full list of groups with the seeded player's ranking in brackets.

Group A
(1) Michael van Gerwen
Rob Cross
Joe Murnan
Ross Montgomery

Group B
(8) Raymond van Barneveld
Gerwyn Price
Steve Lennon
Jamie Hughes

Group C
(5) Phil Taylor
James Wade
Robbie Green
Peter Machin

Group D
(4) Daryl Gurney
Darren Webster
Mark Webster
Danny Noppert

Group E
(2) Peter Wright
Alan Norris
Corey Cadby
Glen Durrant

Group F
(7) Dave Chisnall
Stephen Bunting
Jeffrey de Zwaan
Scott Mitchell

Group G
(6) Mensur Suljovic
Michael Smith
James Wilson
Mark McGeeney

Group H
(3) Gary Anderson
Simon Whitlock
Berry van Peer
Cameron Menzies

The winner of Group A plays the runner-up of Group B, and vice versa, and so on.

Barney is the pick of the Group bets

I like the look of Raymond Van Barneveld from Group B. He'll be pleased with the draw. All the players are capable, of course, especially over the best of nine leg format. But as a former winner, RVB has a good record in the event and he'll fancy winning his group no doubt. He's 10/11 on the Betfair Sportsbook.

Steve Lennon is massively inexperienced at major darting events but has ability. Gerwyn Price just doesn't seem that confident to me, his body language at times is defensive. The fourth player in the group, Jamie Hughes is a potential danger as he won his group last year and will be looking to get through again.

I'll be staying well away from Group G. Mensur Suljovic is the favourite but it looks a real nightmare from a punting point of view. Mark McGeeney the BDO world number one is a danger and might be a bit of value. He's 8/1 to win the group. Michael Smith and James Wilson make up the quartet.

Phil Taylor looks a good thing to win Group C. We know he's playing less and less these days, but he's still a darting animal.

For me, the winner of Simon and Gary's game will win Group H. Barry van Peer, the world youth runner-up isn't setting the board alight right now, while Cameron Menzies, while clearly talented is very inconsistent.

Glen Durrant could surprise at massive odds

The bottom half could produce a big price winner. The top is fully loaded - MVG, Taylor and RVB to name a few - but the bottom has Wright, Anderson, and from the BDO, Durrant.

I'm going for an MVG v Durrant Final. Like always, it Anderson plays well he makes the final, but Durrant's mean level is very high. It'll take a good one to beat him if he makes the knockout phase.

I fancy MVG, Taylor, Barney, and Durrant to all win their groups - but the latter two would be the bets as . Durrant is 5/1, sheesh!!

Recommended Bets
Back MVG to win the tournament @ 5/6
Back Durrant to win the tournament @ 50/1
Back Barney to win his group @ 10/11
Back Durrant to win his group @ 5/1
Back MVG/Taylor to win their groups @ 4/7
Back MVG/Taylor/Barney to win their groups @ 2/1

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