Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Take Mighty Mike to end Power surge

Phil 'The Power' Taylor

Phil 'The Power' Taylor, chasing a 17th world darts title, is in the easier half of the draw when battle commences next Friday in the £1million Ladbrokes event, ending on New Year's Day.

And that's why he's as short as evens for another success, leaving the punter value pointing to Michael van Gerwen at 4/1 to go one better than last year when falling to the power of Taylor (right).

Second seed Van Gerwen is set for a semi-final clash with Adrian Lewis, winner in 2010 and '11, and it will be a major surprise if the Dutchman doesn't reach that stage at least.

Taylor is the main man, of that there's no doubt, but his domination was stopped last month when MVG came from behind to take the Players Championship in which he also defeated Lewis.

That proved Mighty Mike can start 2014 by being on top of the world.

Now 53, Taylor has won seven televised tournaments in 2013 which confirms he's lost none of his zeal and enthusiasm for glory and can be expected to be contemplating another success over his Christmas dinner.

He has an easy start against Rob Szabor or Ian Moss.

Van Gerwen also has a relatively comfortable initial task against Zoran Lerchbacker or Ben Ward while the match of the opening round has to be the brothers-in-arms clash featuring Belgian siblings Kim and Ronny Huybrechts.

The brothers met in the Grand Slam of Darts last month, with the younger Kim coming through their last-16 showdown.

PDC World Championship betting: Evens Taylor; 4/1 Van Gerwen; 6/1 Lewis; 25/1 bar.

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