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The run in to the 2018 World Championship is under-way-who will win it this year?

Early betting preview for PDC World Championship

Posted: 10.08.17 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

The run in to the 2018 World Championship is under-way-who will win it this year?

The PDC World Darts Championship is without question one of the biggest events of the year on the professional darts calendar, arguably surpassing the World Professional Championship run by the BDO in terms of prestige.

One of the most notable things about this year’s tournament is that it will mark the last one for Phil Taylor, and will see him pass the previous appearance record set by John Lowe, but which players are likely to be the ones challenging for the title?

The PDC World Darts Championship will officially get underway in the middle of December, and will run until the middle of January. There is little disputing that two of the biggest names set to compete in the tournament are Phil Taylor and Michael Van Gerwen, and it is Van Gerwen who is the current defending champion.

He overcame Gary Anderson by 7-3 in last year’s final – with this marking his second PDC World Championship win. Given that he goes into this year’s tournament as the reigning Masters champion, it is not hard to see why the bookies have him as the 4/6 hot favourite to win a third title. He also won the Premier League Darts this year, but suffered a notable – and humiliating – defeat at the hands of Phil Taylor in July’s World Matchplay.

Taylor really rolled back the years to overcome the current world number one by a spectacular 16-6 margin in that final, which has some of his followers dreaming that he can mark his last-ever appearance at the PDC World Championships with a win. Taylor has been world champion an astonishing sixteen times before, but has not won the biggest prize in the sport since 2013.

The World Matchplay win proved he could still have the beating of Van Gerwen on his day though, even at the age of 56, which is why the bookmakers rank him as the 10/1 fourth favourite to bow out on a high note. The man they think is the most likely to stop Van Gerwen from retaining his crown is Gary Anderson – the player who lost out to him in the 2017 final. Anderson led his opponent by 2-1 early in that match, but was eventually soundly outclassed.

While this may suggest that bookies are rather optimistic in rating him 6/1 second favourite, it should be remembered that he has plenty of past form in the PDC World Championship to back that up. The Scot is a two-time former winner, having lifted the championship in 2015 and 2016, so he certainly knows how to go all the way on the sport’s biggest stage. Any of these three players are worth considering placing a bet on for this year’s tournament, if you like having a flutter on the darts.

We will have to wait until the end of the year to see whether Taylor can win one last title or whether the likes of Van Gerwen or Anderson will add another to their list of achievements, but it is sure to be worth waiting for. 

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Author: Simon Marshall