The busy darts winter is almost upon us and as sure as Christmas comes once per year Phil The Power Taylor is in fine form heading into the festive period.
The 53-year-old returns to the Butlins Resort in Minehead looking to secure a third consecutive Players Championship title and has rightly been installed as runaway favourite at evens.
Taylor, despite being almost 30 years older than his nearest two rivals for this trophy, shows no sign of diminishing in the latter stages of his career and has enjoyed a stellar 2013 campaign by adding five premier titles to his collection since claiming a 14th PDC World Title at Alexandra Palace in January.
The World Matchplay, World Grand Prix, Grand Slam of Darts, Championship League and UK Open trophies have all found their way onto the mantelpiece at the Taylor residence this year and it is form like this that makes The Power – as ever – hard to oppose going into this latest tournament.
Such is Taylor’s dominance over the darts scene that the joint second favourites – Adrian Lewis and Michael van Gerwen – can be backed at 6/1 to wrestle the crown from The Power’s grip.
Mighty Mike – at 24-years-of-age is undoubtedly the future of the sport – but after racking up a host of 180s in the Grand Slam of Darts semi-final against Taylor before bowing out 16-9 it is Lewis who is the more appealing selection at the prices.
In addition to that semi-final showing, Jackpot claimed the European Championship earlier this year and was runner-up at the World Matchplay, showing he is nearing the sort of form that saw him crowned World Champion in 2011 and 2012.
MvG has been runner-up in no fewer than five premier PDC events this year and at number two in the world is ranked one place higher than Lewis.
However, while the exciting young Dutchman can beat anyone – including Taylor – on his day, like many a disappointed stag-do party member in the past he has not found Minehead to be a happy hunting ground, having never progressed beyond the last 16 in this tournament.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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