This Friday marks another new darts tournament to keep us entertained as the 2020 PDC Players Championship Finals get underway at the rearranged venue of Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.
Attention is about to turn towards the biggest event in darts – the PDC World Championships – which are coming into view. Alexandra Palace has been confirmed as the venue which is great, and some fans will be allowed to attend, which is even better.
With a December 15 start date at the Ally Pally, this weekend’s tournament is now very important, not only in its own right, but also in preparation for next month’s big one.
In a year in which we have seen many new winners on the PDC circuit, Dimitri van den Bergh and Glen Durrant to name but two, last week’s Grand Slam christened another newbie into the PDC winner’s circle after Jose De Sousa won his first ever PDC televised final, taking everyone by surprise.
Could this week offer something similar?
Well, possibly. The Players Championship Finals is well known to provide long priced favourites. Since its launch 12 years ago, we have had eight finalists priced at 25/1 or higher.
Because of this, punters may choose to look outside the short priced top three of Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price and Peter Wright. In fairness, all three were disappointing at the Grand Slam.
Dimitri van den Bergh was on fire in the early stages of the Grand Slam, posting the tournament record average of 114.85 and hitting plus ton in each of his games, save for the semi-final. Such good form will surely attract some to back the Matchplay winning Belgian’s campaign, which, at 17/1, offers plenty of value too.
Then of course there is last week’s winner. The Portuguese is 14/1 to win his second PDC title in a week in the Novibet sportsbook.
Another outsider to watch could be Krzysztof ‘The Polish Eagle’ Ratajski. He, like De Sousa, has climbed into the world’s top 16 and has reached three floor finals in 2020 and won the Gibraltar Trophy on the way.
Ratajski is 19/1 for anyone that fancies the punt.
Dutch part-time aubergine dealer and Grand Prix finalist, Dirk van Duijvenbode will fancy his chances of a deep run at the Ricoh. So too, will Australian Simon Whitlock.
The Wizard landed a Grand Slam match record breaking 19 180s during his stunning 31 leg victory over Michael van Gerwen last week as he made it all the way to the semi-finals.
Of course, there are those that prefer to stick with the favourites, who are after all the three best players in the game.
Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price are both marked as 15/4 joint favourites and followed in the betting by Peter Wright who 21/4.
After these three the prices begin to drift with Michael Smith available at 13/1.
Gerwyn ‘The Iceman’ Price, who remains the most in form darter right now, got lucky in his first game against Mikuru Suzuki and looked far from his best, eventually falling at the hands of Nathan Aspinall.
Mighty Mike, on the other hand, was dismissed by Whitlock while Snakebite was thoroughly out chucked by South African Devon Peterson, another whose time might well be coming soon.
All eyes on Coventry.