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Mighty Mike value once more to make better fist of Taylor rivalry

| 07.11.2013

In the six years of the Grand Slam of Darts world number one Phil Taylor has won the event four times, but with a tricky group draw and odds of 5/4 it may pay to look elsewhere.

It’s difficult to oppose the 14-time World Champion in any tournament he plays in but with the Stoke-on-Trent thrower having won the last four competitions of any note his price no longer fairly reflects the chances of him claiming victory.

It was only a few months ago that Taylor and Premier League victor Michael van Gerwen were joint-favourites for most events but with the Dutchman struggling for any consistency his price has eased to the point of appeal.

The 4/1 available on Mighty Mike going one better than he did last year when losing out to countryman Raymond van Barneveld in the final is attractive, in part, because not long ago it would have been almost half that.

In addition, whilst Taylor is forced to navigate a group containing regular high-level performers such as Kevin Painter and Paul Nicholson, Van Gerwen’s biggest concern is Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts, winner of two low-level events at the beginning of the autumn.

The 24-year-old will ease through that group and then be on course for a semi-final clash against Taylor, if the tournament jolly reaches that stage. The chances of that happening are clearly strong but The Green Machine won’t be 4/1 in a straight match bet against the 53-year-old so some value would have already been sealed regardless of the result.

It would be surprising if the likes of seven-time major winner James Wade (25/1) and defending champion Raymond van Barneveld (10/1) weren’t to progress to the knockout stages but it is even more unlikely for them not to meet either Taylor or Van Gerwen en-route and that usually spells disaster for both.

Double World Champion Adrian Lewis (9/1) has been relatively quiet since sealing the European Championship back in July and has not always shown his best form in group-formats, making it difficult to envisage him being there at the end.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Sam Foster