Wayne Mardle on the Premier League: MVG the unstoppable machine

Michael van Gerwen is the strong favourite to defen his Premier League crown
Michael van Gerwen is the strong favourite to defen his Premier League crown

Premier League darts is welcomed back to our screens later this week with 10 of the best players in the world starting out on their quest to win the trophy, and here with his outright preview is our man Wayne Mardle...


"Unoriginal as it may seem, I just can't look beyond Van Gerwen to win the league phase and the finals on playoff night. There's a certainty to his play that only Taylor has had before."

The 2017 Premier League kicks off this Thursday in Newcastle. Sixteen weeks of dynamic darts played from six different countries, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands.

The battle is not only on the dartboard but also, who can stay mentally strong for the duration.

Last year we saw Phil Taylor fight his way to the final and then run out of stamina against Michael Van Gerwen.

It's a brutal tournament that's halted many a man's progress in the sport. Being competitive every week for some is stressful and sometimes, too much.

This year the line up is similar to recent years, Van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright, Adrian Lewis, James Wade, Taylor, Dave Chisnall, Raymond van Barneveld, Jelle Klaasen & Kim Huybrechts. There are no debutants this time around, just 10 of the greatest darts players in the world.

So let's talk about possible outcomes.


Winner & Playoffs


Van Gerwen is the odds on favourite at 4/7 on the Betfair Sportsbook, and rightly so. Michael has been dominant for a few years now, it's common knowledge he's the one to beat. Michael is the reigning champion.

Anderson (9/2) will definitely qualify for the playoffs in May, that's not fact obviously, it's my opinion. His mean is way above every other player other than Michael.

Apart from the aforementioned it's really tough to predict the other two players likely to make the playoffs.

There are a few inconsistent types who will spoil many a betting slip over the next few months. Klaasen (50/1), when on song is a monster who won't be contained. When things aren't going so well for him he'll get beat all too easily.

The same can be said for Huybrechts (66/1), Chisnall (33/1), and even Van Barneveld (25/1) to a point, though I'm a constant backer of the great Dutchman because he's often overpriced.

It's likely Wade (33/1) will be competitive but come up just short, that's his MO in recent years.

Lewis (25/1) is another who will make a real mess of many an accumulator. One of the most gifted players there has ever been needs to find a way to win ugly. He keeps getting beaten in close fought scrappy matches.

Taylor (14/1) has to improve his composure. There was a time when he was as reliable as the sun rising. The Power is as capable as anyone but his best games are few and far between these days.


Selections


Unoriginal as it may seem, I just can't look beyond Van Gerwen to win the league phase and the finals on playoff night. There's a certainty to his play that only Taylor has had before.

As decent priced runners go, I can't omit Van Barneveld from my selections. Van the Man is a champion. If he can make the playoffs - try getting matched at around 3.211/5 once the Top 4 Finish market gains liquidity - he'll fancy his chances of winning the title again.


Recommended Bets

Back Michael van Gerwenn to win the Premier League @ 4/7
Back Raynond van Barneveld Each-Way to win the Premier League @ 25/1 (Sportsbook)
Back Raymond van Barneveld Top 4 Finish @ 3.211/5


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You can read Wayne's weekly tips on this year's Premier League darts by visiting his section on the betting.betfair darts pages.


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