How the Bookies See it:
Michael van Gerwen
|Group A Winner||
Michael van Gerwen
|Group B Winner||
- World No.1 Michael van Gerwen has been the dominant player of the year and bagged his 14th tournament title of 2017 at the recent German Darts Grand Prix final. However, it was No.4 seed Taylor who won the last major honour when he triumphed at the World Matchplay Championship in July, and he also thrashed Van Gerwen 11-5 in last year’s Champions League final.
- Gary Anderson, the world No.2, has had another consistent season and last month sealed a fifth World Series of Darts title with victory at the Perth Darts Masters. World No.3 Peter Wright is also coming into the event in form after making it through to the World Matchplay final, where he was demolished 18-8 by Taylor.
The groups may be based on the current world rankings but there can be little doubt about which one will be harder to qualify from. The four players in Group A can boast 25 world titles between them, while Gary Anderson is the only former world champion in Group B. There are no easy games at the Champions League of Darts, but the Flying Scotsman should come through a group that also includes Peter Wright, Dave Chisnall and Mensur Suljovic. Anderson can be backed at 5/1 with Betfred to win the tournament, so an Each Way wager might be worth a look.
In Group A, Adrian Lewis, Raymond van Barneveld and Phil Taylor are all capable of springing a surprise, and it would be particularly foolish to write off ‘The Power’ after his incredible recent run at the World Matchplay, but Michael van Gerwen has recovered his poise from that early exit and will be desperate to avenge last year’s defeat. If he can top the group, he would theoretically have an easier semi-final, and could then meet Anderson in the final.
Sports.net’s top tip:
Gary Anderson to win
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.