The start of darts’ World Grand Prix means that there isn’t long to go before the big one, the World Championship, in December.
As players look to find winning form in the run-up to the sport’s grandest stage, one man will feel supremely confident in Dublin.
Phil Taylor is the defending champion of this event and has won it an astonishing 11 times. He has, however, also suffered first-round exits three times in the tournament, with anyone fancying a fourth likely to be eagerly snapping up the 6/1 on Steve Beaton in this year’s opener.
Here’s three more secure bets for the first day’s action:
Pipe ended a two-year wait for a tournament title with victory in the Players Championship 15 recently.
If that wasn’t enough to give him the confidence to topple Thornton, then the fact he beat Michael van Gerwen to claim the silverware should work wonders.
“The Force” has won two of the last three meetings with his Scottish rival, all of which have come this calendar year.
Gilding has enjoyed quite a profitable 2014, finishing as a runner up in two tournaments and rising up the darts rankings.
“Goldfinger” has emerged victorious in both of his career battles with Webster, most recently toppling “The Sniper” 6-2 in a Players Championship event in March.
If Taylor has been susceptible to a first-round exit in this tournament, then the rest of the game’s hierarchy certainly are.
Anderson has been formidable in 2014, winning six times on the circuit to reclaim his best form.
However, he has rarely managed to better the man nicknamed “The History Maker”, who has stopped Anderson seven times in their 11 meetings to date.
Anderson has failed to clear the first hurdle in this event twice in the last three years.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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