Punters flocking en masse towards the 15/8 odds on Phil Taylor taking his 15th PDC World Championship in January ought to have a good look at the form ‘The Power’ has been in at Alexandra Palace during recent campaigns.
Taylor thrashed close rival Michael van Gerwen 18-9 in the final of the World Matchplay in Blackpool, taking the title for the 13th time since the turn of the last century and for the 15th time overall.
It was the Stoke native’s seventh successive triumph at the Winter Gardens, but while Taylor is clearly the master of this particular format, the Lancashire event hasn’t always proved an accurate indicator of Ally Pally form during that winning run.
Taylor has followed up on World Matchplay success by taking darts’ biggest prize three times over the past six years, which would rank as outstanding for many, yet is something of a drop-off from a man who won 11 of the first 13 PDC World Championships.
Indeed, the 54-year-old’s proficiency in the event has dropped to a trio of outright victories over the past eight renewals, and his recent record against Van Gerwen supports a theory that the Blackpool thrashing was somewhat anomalous.
Since Taylor came back from two sets down twice against MVG to take the 2013 PDC title, the pair have faced-off 16 times, with the Dutchman winning seven matches to his opponent’s eight and the other clash ending in a draw.
Significantly, their six matches prior to the Winter Gardens final saw them tied on three wins each, with Van Gerwen handing out a few beatings of his own when seeing off Taylor by 4-0 and 7-0 scorelines since the start of this year.
At 9/4 and with a title to defend, ‘Mighty Mike’ rates the margin call for Ally Pally success after getting the monkey of a first PDC World Championship victory off his back in January.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.