Jaymes Monte picks out his best bet for the final at the end of a memorable tournament...
"When against him, Taylor doesn’t handle the crowd particularly well."
A few weeks, months or even years from now, I'm sure that we will look back at the 2013 PDC World Championship as one of, if not the, best ever. It's had everything. A couple of nine-darters, tense, high-quality matches at every stage of the tournament, shocks and upsets, big scoring, a bit of controversy and those magical 17 darts from Michael van Gerwen. All that remains is the final word.
Will this ultimately be remembered as the year Taylor bounced back? Or will it be the beginning of a new Van Gerwen-led era? Up to 13 sets of darts, a few tense hours, two incredibly skilled and focused players and one large and raucous crowd will provide the answers on this New Year's night.
And it could turn out to be the latter that has the greatest effect on the outcome.
Taylor's antics at the end of his semi-final win over Raymond van Barneveld sparked a huge reaction at the venue and around the darting community. 99% of which condemned The Power for his actions, as jeers rang out around the Alexandra Palace and Twitter exploded into a raging ball of Taylor hatred. Even fellow sportsmen such as Michael Owen, Joey Barton (yes, he's one to talk) and Mark King waded in to criticise darts' world number one.
Given the opportunity to explain his actions Taylor then refused to be drawn on the matter in his post-match interview. An attitude that only served to further fuel the feeling of discontent towards the 15-time world champion.
There is of course a possibility that it will all be forgotten about and everyone will move on, but there's a stronger possibility that it will turn the crowd against Taylor and have everyone pulling for the young, exciting and likeable Van Gerwen.
When against him, Taylor doesn't handle the crowd particularly well. Even in the aftermath of his win over Barney he boasted about having a few individuals thrown out of the venue for whistling whilst he was throwing at doubles. If the whole of Ally Pally get on his case then a few security guards won't be able to help.
Regardless of the possibility of the effect that the crowd will have, I'd be looking to back MVG at odds of 2.021/1 - he's been the more consistent throughout this tournament and over the past six months. But with the added possibility of external factors coming into play it has to be a weighty punt on the youngster and a changing of the guard at Alexandra Palace.