Shocks in order as Dublin prepares to host World Grand Prix

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Phil Taylor is the bookies’ favourite to claim the World Grand Prix title in Dublin and with his outrageous record in this tournament it’s easy to see why.

He’s a 2/1 shot with Ladbrokes, which is massive given how well he’s done here in previous jaunts across the Irish Sea. In the competition’s 14-year history, he’s lifted the crown an amazing 10 times and defends the trophy in 2012.

He kicks off his campaign against debutant Michael Smith and can expect a smooth passage into the next round, as reflected in his ridiculously short price of 1/10.

The pair have met four times to date with the Power succeeding on each occasion, dropping just four of the 27 legs contested.

The early stages of this tournament, however, are notorious for providing shocks, with its start-and-finish-on-a-double format proving tricky for many.

Paul Nicholson is out to sidestep a potential banana skin when he takes on Micheal Mansell – the man who beat him on the European Tour just last month.

The Tynesider-come-Australian has got the better of his next adversary in three of their four clashes, but this one will not be plain sailing and a Mansell upset can be backed at 5/4.

Reigning world champion Adrian Lewis also has tough-looking opening fixture as he takes on the Prince of Wales, Richie Burnett.

Jackpot has bested him in each of their three previous encounters, including a 2-0 win at this stage of the World Grand Prix in 2004.

His form isn’t what it could be going into this one, however. He’s picked up a European Tour title win in before being eliminated in the first round of the European Championship in a 6-0 mauling at Ian White’s hands.

He’s also been sent home in the early exchanges from three other tournaments before this, with Terry Jenkins, Steve Beaton and Roland Scholten all scoring unanticipated victories over the Stoke player.

Burnett can add his to name to that list in this one and is a solid price at 7/4 to do so, while Lewis’ 2/5 should be steered clear of.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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