It’s looking ever more likely that the unstoppable machine that is Michael Van Gerwen () will regain his World Championship. The world #1 has had a sensational year, even by his standards.
A Masters, the UK Open, World Matchplay and European Championship wins were backed up by a Grand Slam victory in November and then a Players Championship. That haul wasn’t enough for MVG’s mantelpiece though, so he went and won the World Series as well.
In 2015 he’s won 18 tournaments, 172 matches and earned more than £900,000. In the 43 games since losing last year’s World Championship semi-final to Gary Anderson, he’s only been beaten once, and goes into this year’s tournament having won his last 21 matches.
But while Van Gerwen has the ability to tap the turbo and string off six or seven legs in a row, his 180 hitting isn’t the strongest. He’s the favourite to hit the most in the tournament, but looking at the odds Dave Chisnall is probably the best bet at .
Chizzy is known as a power scorer, often let down by his doubles. His draw is easy enough until the third round (a meeting with Peter Wright awaits) but the longer the matches go, the more maximums Chisnall will hit. A potential quarter-final with Adrian Lewis ( for most 180s) has the possibility to break the record for number of 180’s in a game.
We’re offering specials on who (if anyone) will beat Phil Taylor. I’d be backing Jelle Klaasen at to do it. The Cobra is back on the oche after a turbulent year, but has impressed in floor tournaments throughout, and is deservedly back in the World’s top 20.
Taylor will have to navigate his way past Kevin Painter before meeting the Dutchman, but his form in Ally Pally has been patchy. 2015- Final, 2014- second round, 2013- winner, 2012- second round, 2011- second round. If not Klaasen, then the winner of Mark Webster vs Rob Thornton should do it.
Webster is my outside bet for the title. A strong Grand Slam backed up an impressive return to form for the Spider. Victories over Adrian Lewis, Michael Smith, Gary Anderson and Stephen Bunting in 2015 means that Webster has slowly climbed the rankings. He’s lethal on double top, and if he finds his range early in the tournament, at an each way bet could pay dividends.