Priced at 2/1 and 5/2 respectively Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen are expected to be the men to beat as the PDC World Darts Championship returns to Alexandra Palace later this month.
The Power is a 16-time world champion who shows only marginal signs of slowing down, while Mighty Mike is the reigning champion and will be unwilling to let his crown go without a fight.
Backing either man to win darts’ biggest accolade at the start of 2015 at 8/11 should tempt as when these two are at the top of their game either man can arguably only be beaten by the other.
However, it is the evens price on “The Field” that could offer the best value, with plenty of the sports so-called supporting cast enjoying good form heading into the Ally Pally glamour tournament.
Here James Curtis runs the rule over the most likely challengers.
Anderson has had a stellar year so far, winning the Players Championship and reaching the semi-finals of both the World Matchplay and the World Grand Prix.
He holds a losing record against both Taylor and MVG but having lost just one of his last four meetings with The Power and beating the Dutchman 7-4 in this year’s Premier League he will be confident.
This is a great price for a man who took the PDC crown in 2011 and 2012, especially after winning the UK Open and reaching the Players Championship final this year.
Premier League victories against both Taylor and MvG this year could also stand him in good stead in north London.
The Machine is among the best in the game on top form and showed as much in winning this year’s Masters and reaching three other semi finals.
Wade has won two of his last three against Taylor – including at this year’s World Grand Prix – and has had plenty of opportunity to get familiar with MvG in 2014, playing six times including two tournament finals.
Bunting started the year by taking the World Championship – albeit the BDO variety – and has had a solid first year on the PDC circuit.
The Bullet has been at the business end of some big events in 2014, won his most recent bout with Taylor at the European Championships and beat MvG 6-5 in the Players Championship in May.
Last year’s runner up has lost just one of his last four meetings with The Power and beat Mighty Mike at the UK Open earlier this year but needs an upturn in form to challenge again.
Barney has won the world title five times – four in the BDO and one in the PDC – and was victorious in this year’s Premier League final where he beat his younger countryman Van Gerwen.
He’s lost just one of his last three with old foe Taylor and has to be considered at the odds given his standing in the sport.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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