Saturday, January 22, 2022

2021 Grand Slam of Darts Betting Tips & Predictions

The PDC will pitch up in Wolverhampton for the next eight days for the 2021 renewal of the Grand Slam of Darts.

Last year, the event was forced to take place behind closed doors and at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, but this year it is back in its traditional Aldersley Leisure Village home.

One player who will be happy to be back at the venue is World champion Gerwyn Price who won the title here in both 2018 and a year later, making him the winner on the past two occasions it has been staged here.

The short format nature can make the group stage a wee bit of a lottery, and we certainly have seen some shocks in the past, but the Iceman is rightly the outright favourite and is as good as certain to qualify from his group.

The Special One

One year ago, Portugal’s Jose de Sousa made a name for himself when he lifted the trophy for what was his first televised major win.

The Special One has since gone on to win four more Pro Tour titles and now has a world ranking of seven.

On form, however, the best in the world right now is the man he beat in last year’s final, Jonny Clayton.

The Ferret is in the form of his life at present and has been collecting trophies for fun this calendar year.

In fact, Clayton has taken down more individual titles than anyone else this season.

What’s more, four of those, the Darts Masters, the Premier League of Darts, the Darts World Grand Prix and the World Series of Darts Finals, have been televised majors.

The most recent of those, the World Series of Darts Finals, saw him overcome his fellow Welshman and actual world number one, Gerwyn Price.

Clayton’s game just does not contain any weak spots right now, a point he made quite conclusively last week at the Super Series where he hit five ton plus averages in 11 matches.

You simply cannot back against Go Go Jonny Clayton right now and we have priced him up as a 5/2 chance.

Sherrock Shocker

Fallon Sherrock and Lisa Ashton will both represent for the ladies over the weekend and, in the case of at least the former, possibly longer.

Her deep run to the recent Nordic Darts Masters was another reminder of what she is capable of, and she could very easily have beaten Michael van Gerwen in the final.

The Queen Of The Palace will have the crowd massively on her side for all of her matches but she has been given a tough draw and will play 2020 PDC World Champion Peter Wright in her first match.

Gary Anderson has twice finished second in this event but has surprisingly never won it. He has, however never not qualified from the group stage.

By his own lofty standards, he has had an uneventful year since losing in the final of the World Championships to Gerwyn Price.

There are some signs of improvement though after he landed three ton plus averages in a single day at last week’s Super Series.

Good timing if so, with the World Championships looming once again.

Price Is Wright

Of course, the favourite for the outright tournament win is the world champion and number one Gerwyn Price of Wales.

The Iceman has been priced up accordingly at 8/5, just ahead of Michael van Gerwen.

Mighty Mike is another whose star has faded of late, and he no longer carries that air of invincibility.

It is, however, only a matter of time before he starts picking up major trophies again.

In the case of 9/2 shot Peter Wright, we need to wait and see which version of himself shows up in the West Midlands this week.

One moment, as was the case when he won the World Matchplay so brilliantly back in July, he can throw like an absolute beast, the next minute his game has dropped off entirely.

What is consistent though is the fans’ love for him and if we get the best of him he is a definite contender.

Another would be pick would have been Dimitri van den Bergh but a failed test for Covid-19 has put paid to his participation, while Krzysztof Ratajski is another outsider that could go well and run deep this week providing he escapes from Group A which is the same pool as Gerwyn Price.

If he can qualify from the group, he could be dangerous.

The Group Stage

32 players have been split into eight groups of four for the first round stage and the round robin action gets underway with a double session on Saturday.

Assuming Price and Ratajski make it out of the first group, Jonny Clayton, who takes his place in Group B, should have no problem joining them in the second round joined most likely by Mervyn King.

After picking up some fantastic results over the past few months, we can expect Rob Cross to safely navigate Group C alongside James Wade.

The Dream Maker Dimitri van den Bergh’s last minute replacement, Chris Dobey, is more than capable of getting out of group D where Stephen Bunting should really be the other darter to reach round two.

Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright is joined in group E by Fallon Sherrock who has the potential to cause an upset, although watch out too for Gabriel Clemens.

The returning champion Jose de Sousa is the first ever Portuguese winner on the PDC and won’t have too much trouble making it out of group F and into the second round two along with Luke Humphries or Mensur Suljovic.

Group G is where Michael van Gerwen will begin his campaign for an event he won three years in a row between 2015 and 2017. MVG is as good as certain to qualify most likely with Joe Cullen.

Raymond van Barneveld makes his return to the Grand Slam for the first time since 2018 and will have every reason to believe he can qualify for the knockout stages.

So, too, though will Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith and the pair meet in the final match on Saturday. You have to fancy Smith to get of the group though, along with Gary Anderson.

Grand Slam of Darts 2021 Groups

Group A

  • Gerwyn Price
  • Krzysztof Ratajski
  • Martin Schindler
  • Nathan Rafferty

Group B

  • Jonny Clayton
  • Mervyn King
  • Bradley Brooks
  • Rusty-Jake Rodriguez

Group C

  • James Wade
  • Rob Cross
  • Boris Krcmar
  • Jim Williams

Group D

  • Chris Dobey
  • Stephen Bunting
  • Ryan Joyce
  • Chris Dobey

Group E

  • Peter Wright
  • Gabriel Clemens
  • Mike De Decker
  • Fallon Sherrock

Group F

  • Jose de Sousa
  • Luke Humphries
  • Mensur Suljovic
  • Matt Campbell

Group G

  • Michael van Gerwen
  • Joe Cullen
  • John Henderson
  • Lisa Ashton

Group H

  • Gary Anderson
  • Michael Smith
  • Raymond van Barneveld
  • Joe Davis

Grand Slam of Darts 2021 Schedule

Saturday November 13

Group Matches (Best of 9 legs)

  • Stephen Bunting v Ryan Joyce
  • Krzysztof Ratajski v Martin Schindler
  • Mervyn King v Bradley Brooks
  • James Wade v Jim Williams
  • Rob Cross v Boris Krcmar
  • Jonny Clayton v Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
  • Gerwyn Price v Nathan Rafferty
  • Chris Dobey v Rowby-John Rodriguez
  • Gabriel Clemens v Mike De Decker
  • Jose de Sousa v Matt Campbell
  • Luke Humphries v Mensur Suljovic
  • Gary Anderson v Joe Davis
  • Michael van Gerwen v Lisa Ashton
  • Joe Cullen v John Henderson
  • Peter Wright v Fallon Sherrock
  • Michael Smith v Raymond van Barneveld

Sunday November 14

Group Matches (Best of 9 legs)

  • Groups A-D Second Matches
  • Groups E-H Second Matches

Monday November 15

Group Matches (Best of 9 legs)

  • Eight Group Matches

Tuesday November 16

Group Matches (Best of 9 legs)

  • Eight Group Matches

Wednesday November 17

Second Round (Best of 19 legs)

  • Four Matches

Thursday November 18

Second Round (Best of 19 legs)

  • Four Matches

Friday November 19

Quarter-finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • Four matches

Saturday November 20

Semi-finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • Two Matches

Sunday November 21

Final (Best of 31 legs)

  • One Match

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