My top 10 contenders for the Grand Prix title:
1. Michael Van Gerwen.
Even though I said that this won’t be as clear cut as other competitions in my previous post you still can’t look past Mighty Mike. This year he played the greatest darts match that the world has ever seen beating Michael Smith 7-1 in the premier league on his way to a world record 123.4 3 dart average the likes of which has never been seen before. Looking to bounce back from his Champions League defeat MVG is my pick to win this competition.
2. Phil Taylor
What more can you say? This countries most decorated sportsman 16 time world champion, 11 time winner of this competition. In recent times I have always been against Taylor as I want to see some new blood picking up the trophies, however last weekend I was firmly behind him as he deserved to be the inaugural Champions League winner as he is the undisputed greatest of all time.
3. Gary Anderson.
This man has completely changed his game in the past couple of years having become one of the most prolific double hitters in the game having previously struggled on them. The back to back world champions has a massive chance here and should easily make it to the semi final.
4. James Wade
A two time winner of this competition and for good reason. James Wade is an incredible player at this format as his doubling is better than his scoring so if his opponent stumbles at hitting the double to get started he will punish them heavily.
5. Raymond Van Barneveld
Similarly to Wade, Barney is a fantastic double hitter so if he can consistently get his first dart in he should progress to at least the quarter finals where he should meet The Machine himself in a game that could be a stormer.
6. Peter Wright.
My favourite player doesn’t have the best of chances in this tournament he needs to book up his ideas when it comes to hitting the doubles especially in this format but the draw has been kind to him giving him Brendan Dolan then either Robbie Green or Dave Chisnall. But i predict he will be eliminated in the QF by Phil Taylor.
7. Robert Thornton
Kind of strange to see the defending champion at odds of 66/1 Thornton has been looking forward to defending his crown all year long and I think he will produce his best at this tournament. As he showed in the Premier League when he is at his best he can take legs from anybody after getting a shock 6-6 draw with World number 1 Michael Van Gerwen.
8. Adrian Lewis
Why so low down? To say Lewis’ year has had a downward trajectory would be an understatement after reaching the World Championship final and the Premier League semis I had tipped Lewis to win a major this year. However as of late Lewis has been awful. As much as he will argue that he is doing well with people on twitter the fact of the matter is that he is bang out of form, being beaten in minor tournaments by relative nobodies such as Steve West and Ricky Williams he seriously needs to improve if he wants to win this tournament and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him eliminated in the first round by Jelle Klaassen.
9. Jelle Klaasen
Impressed me massively at the World Championships but has endured a huge dip in form since. Being beaten by Steve Beaton at the Matchplay being one of the worst performances I have ever seen from Jelle Klaassen would be a huge contender if he gets past Lewis in the first round and regains his form.
10. Joe Cullen
Realistically Joe Cullen is not the 10th most likely player to win this competition it is probably Michael Smith or Dave Chisnall. However I have included Cullen because I have been very impressed with his performances this year including a whitewash of Gary Anderson, beating Stephen Bunting and taking Peter Wright very close. Cullen has a bright future in my opinion and if he can find his best darts this weekend he could reach the Quarter Finals