Wayne Mardle on the World Grand Prix: MVG should win it, but Thornton a worthy dark horse

Michael van Gerwen is world number one and brimming with confidence
Michael van Gerwen is world number one and brimming with confidence

Wayne Mardle looks ahead to the World Grand Prix in Dublin next week and picks out two fancies well worth a look...

"So, who do I think will win? Well, MVG is brimming with confidence and rightly so - the world number one has already won this championship twice in the past."

This a tournament that seems to throw up a few shocks, and one reason is that the first round is the best of three sets which is an extremely short format. Lose that first set and panic can set in - trust me, I know...

For outright winners it's hard to look past the main culprits - Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson will all fancy lifting their chances at lifting the cup at the end. And, before you have a bet, remember this format is 'double in, double out' which can change everything; the big scorers of world darts effectively have a shot less to get that big score as they have to start the leg on a double, it's a format that really can mess with your confidence.

So, who do I think will win? Well, MVG is brimming with confidence and rightly so - the world number one has already won this championship twice in the past.

James Wade is another past winner who likes this format, and his double hitting can be relentless.

Adrian Lewis, if his first dart at double 20 misses high (or goes in, obviously) I think he'll have a great chance, but he cannot afford to go low and chase the starting double down.

You just cannot write off Phil Taylor, the most capable darts player ever has had his problems on the outer ring more than ever this year and if that trend continues he'll struggle, but then of course there's the flip side. If The Power gets it right he'll be around all week. Currently though, his form is just so tough to predict.

What's more, there are some horrible draws, or fabulous draws if you're not one of the players involved: Raymond van Barneveld v Adrian Lewis, Peter Wright v Dave Chisnall, Taylor v Vincent van der Voort are just a few.

Interestingly enough, I like the chances of Robert Thornton to have a run this year. The reason? His double 20 hitting CAN be mesmeric, once he starts in a rich vein he just carries on (he hit a perfect 9 dart leg last year). Robert hasn't had the best season but he can put that right next week.

And expect some real tight tungsten tussles. This format lends itself to drama.

Recommended Bets

Back Michael van Gerwen for the World Grand Prix at 3.185/40 or better
Back Robert Thornton for the World Grand Prix at 80.079/1 or better

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