Michael van Gerwen will begin his quest for a second PDC World Darts Championship title next week and is 8/11 to land the spoils.
The greatest players in the world are set to descend on Alexandra Palace for the Festive showpiece and all eyes will be on the 27-year-old Dutchman in north London.
Phil Taylor dominated the sport for years and has 16 world titles to his name, but surely there has never been a stronger favourite than ‘Mighty Mike’ to lift the trophy on January 2?
The world number one has won every televised ranking event this year, with 28 major titles now to his name in a career that began to blossom just four years ago.
Taylor’s victory over MVG in the final of September’s Champions League of Darts prevented him from completing a clean sweep of the biggest tournaments, but it is the upcoming event that van Gerwen craves.
Beaten in the 2013 final by ‘The Power’, the man in green bounced back to down Peter Wright in the showpiece event 12 months later and claim the sport’s most coveted prize for the first time.
He has not reached the final in the last two renewals, however, with Scotland’s Gary Anderson seeing off all-comers, but it would be a brave man to bet against the Dutchman this time around.
The Boxtel-born ace seemingly has the ability to raise his game whenever necessary and on the odd occasion that he loses his throw, inevitably hits straight back to turn the tide in his favour.
His scoring power is matched by pinpoint accuracy on the outer ring and it would be no surprise to see him hit a nine-dart finish en route to the title (Van Gerwen – 7/2 To Win The Tournament & Hit A 9 Darter).
odds subject to change