Rag2gar previews the World Matchplay Darts and he has outright bets on Gary Anderson and Phil Taylor.
World Matchplay Darts 2016
When I think of the World Matchplay, I always instinctively think of Phil Taylor. 15 times World Matchplay champion Taylor has won this tournament even more times than he has won the PDC World Championship. I remember his performance in 2014 especially, as he went into that tournament bang out of form and rolled back the years like a step back in time to win the title in scintillating fashion like the Taylor of old. But this year, and every year for the remainder of his career, Taylor will not be dominating any tournament. The increase in the level of the competition in recent years has just been too severe. Anderson, Van Gerwen and Lewis are now every bit as good as Taylor and any of the four of them could win this.
Michael Van Gerwen is the obvious favourite, as he is the best player in world darts and has been for some time now. He's a better player than Taylor was at his best but he's not as dominant. He's not far off though, with many of the major titles under his belt so far this year including the UK Open, the Premier League and the Unibet and the Shanghai Masters. The only one that's really evaded him was the World Championship and let's not forget how frighteningly well he played in his defeat in that one. However, Van Gerwen has come off the rails a little in recent weeks having only won one of his last five tournaments (and only one from his last six if you include the World Cup of darts). Mind you he hasn't been out of contention in any of them, he just hasn't won them.
I think there's also no denying that Gary Anderson is the obvious second favourite. He is certainly the second best player in the world at the moment and he proved that when he mopped up the World Championship earlier this year once Van Gerwen was out. He would look to be the one that the bookies will need to stop Van Gerwen but can he do it? Well form would certainly suggest he can. He beat Van Gerwen twice in the last six weeks in the final of both the Shanghai and Japanese Masters. They were both close matches though and you would wonder if a big TV major will bring about an improvement in the world number one's game to overturn that form. But at 5-1 you certainly wouldn't be put off taking a chance with Anderson. He could continue his good recent form over Van Gerwen and go on to take this title.
Adrian Lewis has been in decent form too since the Premier League ended making a few deep runs in the competitions that have taken place since May. He hasn't got the greatest of records in Blackpool but I wouldn't let that put me off. What he does lack though is a few landmark wins of late. A dominating win over a Taylor, Van Gerwen or Anderson is probably what Lewis needs to win a big title again. Not sure if he's going to do that here but if he does, watch out.
And then of course we come to the 15 time champion of Blackpool Phil Taylor. He too definitely has a chance this year. He hasn't won it since 2014 but he won it seven times in a row prior to that. He will never, ever be the Taylor of old in terms of domination, but he'll always be a contender and at 7-1 I think he too is overpriced.
Of the others, not a lot to like really. Wright, Wade and Smith are all decent players, but they're just not good enough and I can't see any of them winning this.
It's between the top four in the betting and any of them could win it. That's why it's mandatory to take on Van Gerwen this week at the current odds and Anderson and Taylor would be my recommended bets.
3 points win G. Anderson to win the 2016 World Matchplay at 5/1 with Ladbrokes
2 points win P. Taylor to win the 2016 World Matchplay at 7/1 with Bet Victor