Phil Taylor well placed to continue his dominance of the World Grand Prix

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Saying Phil Taylor likes the darts World Grand Prix is a bit like saying Scooby Doo likes Scooby Snacks or Badger (of Bodger and Badger fame) liked mashed potato; with 11 titles from 16 years, ‘The Power’ has dominated the history of this competition.

It is easy to see why then he is as short as 9/4 to lift the trophy again in Dublin next week.

The 54-year-old has rarely looked in better form than he has over the past three months, victory in both the Perth and Sydney Masters followed a dominant victory in the World Matchplay, an event he recorded an 18th career nine dart finish in.

Taylor has vowed that he will regain his world number one spot from young pretender Michael van Gerwen.

Taylor has drawn Steve Beaton in the opening round in Dublin and having beaten him 23 times in 25 meetings, you would expect the 14-time PDC World Champion to progress without too much difficulty.

MvG will go up against Vincent van der Voort in the first round, and will fancy his chances to see off his compatriot in a similarly straight forward manner.

And while he has still had a decent year, the summer has seen the Dutchman play second fiddle to Taylor in a number of events.

For that reason, as well as his unbelievable record in the tournament, we fancy the Englishman to outdo Mighty Mike once again rather than backing the 3/1 second favourite.

At a bigger price James Wade may hold some value.

The man from Aldershot has reached at least the semi finals in this event in three of the last four years, winning it in 2010 and 2007.

Having won the Gibraltar Darts Trophy back in June, it’s been four months since The Machine reached the last two in a competition.

But with the likes of last year’s runner up Dave Chisnall and Raymond van Barneveld being drawn against each other, and Ady Lewis not holding a particularly strong record in the competition, taking some of the 14/1 available could be a wise move.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.