Wayne Mardle: Power to get the glory as King returns

Phil targets a fifth consecutive World Matchplay title

Sunday was good day at the World Matchplay for Betfair Ambassador Wayne Mardle. On Monday, Phil Taylor kicks off his bid to win a fifth successive Matchplay title and our man tries to keeping his hot streak going...

Phil Taylor rarely leaves backers out of clover


Recommended Bets
Back 101.5 @ 1.834/5 Taylor Average
Back Brendan Dolan +2.5 legs @ 2.26/5
Back Vince van der Voort 10-7 @ 8.415/2 and 10-8 @ 8.07/1
Back Colin Lloyd average of 88.5 @

Sunday night at the Winter Gardens was a belter. James Wade was imperious in his 10-5 victory over Richie Burnett but the standout performance came from Michael van Gerwen. The young Dutchman got our bets off to a flyer as he upset the odds by beating Simon Whitlock - a result tipped up in this column. For bettors, van Gerwen is an interesting proposition. He's one of the best players I've ever seen but he goes off the boil so abruptly you wonder if your money is safe with him. One to keep an eye on for sure.

Phil Taylor rarely leaves backers out of clover which is why he's a measly 1.162/13 to win tonight's clash with Mervyn King. We've seen some cracking matches between these two over the years. King dropped out of the top 16 earlier this season but, although he's not entirely back to his best, he's rediscovered his form follow a difficult time. The markets are right to make Phil firm favourite but, although I could envisage him running riot here, you could also see King giving his opponent the test he expects. I'm going to back over 101.5 at 1.834/5 in the Taylor Average market.

Andy Hamilton has had the year from heaven. He's taken his chances at the oche and that's what it's all about. He reached the semi-finals last year but there's always pressure in the first round and Brendan Dolan is capable of pulling out some big ones. He landed a nine darter at the World Grand Prix last October and I can see him hitting some 140s tonight. A high-scoring contest is in the offing and I'm backing Dolan +2.5 legs.

Ian White makes his World Matchplay debut tonight and, while I don't expect him to be daunted by the occasion, I just wonder if he will struggle to play under the hot conditions you get at the Winter Gardens. Vince van der Voort has suffered from back trouble but that now seems to be clearing up. Last night, he told me he's feeling fine. For the first time in a year, he can practice as much as he wants. That's a big boost so I'm backing Vince to win 10-7 and 10-8.

Colin Lloyd won a tour event in Crawley four weeks ago but he can be erratic. We don't know what we'll get with Lloyd whereas Mark Webster is a solid competitor. I'd be struggling to predict a correct score in this one so I'm going to take 1.664/6 on a Lloyd average of over 88.5.

Now, I'm off catch some of that sun with a walk on the prom ahead of what should be another splendid night of darts.

Recommended Bets
Back 101.5 @ 1.834/5 Taylor Average
Back Brendan Dolan +2.5 legs @ 2.26/5
Back Vince van der Voort 10-7 @ 8.415/2 and 10-8 @ 8.07/1
Back Colin Lloyd average over 88.5 @ 1.664/6

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