It will be a bit strange not seeing Phil Taylor competing on the oche this Christmas, with The Power having stood down after losing in last year’s World Championship final against Rob Cross.
It’s unlikely that anyone will emulate Taylor’s sixteen world titles although Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson will be bidding to win for a third time at Alexandra Palace and it’s this pair who head the betting market.
MVG has triumphed in 2014 and 2017, with the Dutchman pretty much setting a new standard when it comes to the sport of darts although this is clearly a tougher tournament for him to win.
For example, Van Gerwen has won the Premier League on four separate occasions and the same applies to four other PDC premier events, with the set format and tougher competition often seeing the world number one finding one too good for him.
Anderson is clearly a class act and he was the winner in 2015 and 2016. At the age of 47, he’s still capable of a big run through to the final and this player has featured at the business end of every tournament he’s played in this year.
The Flying Scotsman looks a decent shout at 3/1 with William Hill until you see the fact that he’s in the same half as MVG and the bottom half of the draw could really open up as a result.
Rob Cross is the reigning champion and that accounts for him being second seed in the competition, although the man known as Voltage hasn’t set the darting world alight since triumphing at Ally Pally.
He made the semi-finals of the Premier League and reached quarter finals for the Masters, UK Open and European Championship, although there have been too many flimsy performances.
We’re actually drawn to the odds of Dimitri van den Bergh at 50/1, with the Belgian having just been crowned World Youth Champion and he could be following a similar trajectory to Van Gerwen.
The Dreammaker took eventual champion Cross to a decisive set last year and he’s likely to come on for that experience, with the youngster having made the quarter final stage of the Grand Slam this year.
Dimitri van den Bergh @ 50/1 with William Hill