The summer may just be over – or still going for those desperate to still rock their shorts – but the winter will soon be here.
While this may mean early Christmas adverts a new coat and swapping cold coke for hot chocolates to some for many it means only one thing … it’s almost time for the darts.
The PDC World Championship is the highlight of the darts calendar and fast becoming one of the most-watches sporting events in the UK and this year promises to be no different.
The flagship tournament gets underway in December and will offer the darts community a glittering finale at the turn of the year.
Phil Taylor is the early favourite but with plenty of action to come before the Alexandra Palace event Ladbrokes News runs the rule over The Power and his nearest rivals.
What Jimi Hendrix is to guitar, Michael Jackson to pop, Michael Jordan to basketball and Muhammad Ali to boxing Phil Taylor is to darts.
After losing the World Championship title to Michael van Gerwen in January many predicted the beginning of the end of The Power’s career but a series of tournament wins this year mean he is right back at the pinnacle of the sport.
Masters wins in Perth, Sydney and German stand out but the World match play title shows he is still the one to watch.
The current holder is the heir to the throne but while in royalty that means waiting for your turn in darts MVG has been pecking away at Taylor’s authority in recent years.
This was highlighted by his triumph in January and Masters wins in Holland, Dubai and Singapore since then show he will not give up his title without a fight.
Britain’s big hope has only the UK Open to show for his efforts this year but when playing at the top of his game no one can write the Stoke thrower off.
A back-to-back winner in 2011 and 2012 Lewis has already proven he has what it takes to steal the crown from the big boys but he’ll have to raise his game by December to really compete this year.
The 2011 runner-up showed his ability to get to the business end of tournaments still by reaching the semi-finals of the World Matchplay this year.
He went one better three times on the Players Championship circuit, taking the Barnsley, Coventry and Crawly editions of the series and like Lewis is one of the UK’s best hopes.
Ha beaten Taylor eight times, MVG seven times and Lewis 11 times so remains a solid each-way pick if not an outright contender.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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