After another winner in his column yesterday, Wayne Mardle turns his attention to the World Matchplay Final and feels Phil 'The Power' Taylor can beat Michael van Gerwen to the title tonight...
"The Power, on the other hand, just isn't unrelenting, he's merciless. He wants to win by the biggest margin possible. Phil has from somewhere made himself the man to beat again."
Michael van Gerwen v Phil Taylor
Sunday July 27, 19:10
Live on Sky Sports 1
So, after all the debates, all the opinions and all the drama, we have the two best players in the world in the final. Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor are the top seeds and were the clear ante-post favourites. Now they go head to head.
MVG is playing the game differently to Phil right now, he's playing within himself and only explodes into life when he's pushed into a corner and the only way out is to fight and outplay his opponent for short spells.
The Power, on the other hand, just isn't unrelenting, he's merciless. He wants to win by the biggest margin possible. Phil has from somewhere made himself the man to beat again.
How he's dragged himself up from the canvas and starting hitting like a man possessed again I have no idea. Remember this is the man who was so out of sorts that he almost didn't make the last four of the Premier League, something he'd always done before at a canter.
Taylor is unbeaten at Blackpool since 2007, an amazing record by an amazing player.
Michael has never been in a World Matchplay final and all year he's been saying that this is the one he wants most now he's won the World Championships and the Premier League.
They'll both play well, that's a given. But who wins? Well, I think the answer is Phil Taylor.
In every game Michael has dropped his intensity for just a couple of legs and I believe if he does that again he'll lose. The Dutchman has the game but I just feel over this distance the sheer consistency of Taylor trumps the short mesmeric spells by The Green Machine.
Oh and back over 31.5 legs - that seems a given in a World Matchplay final, it's a long format with the best players playing in it. Easy money.
Back Phil Taylor to beat Michael van Gerwen at 1.910/11
Back Over 31.5 legs at 1.794/5