The latest European Tour event is played out this week when the stars of the darting world head to Sindelfingen in Germany for the European Darts Grand Prix. We’re heading up to a busy time on the darting calendar so the quality this week should be high with everyone in their preparations for the big events.
2016 – Michael van Gerwen
2015 – Kim Huybrechts
2014 – Mervyn King
As ever the qualifiers have played themselves down to the last 32 where the seeded players enter the tournament. That round is played across two sessions of play on Saturday before the remainder of the event is played out on Sunday over two more sessions. All matches as always are the best of 11 legs throughout the tournament.
Peter Wright heads the seeds in the top half of the draw this weekend which is different. He is joined as far as seeded players go by Mensur Suljovic, James Wade, Kim Huybrechts, Alan Norris, Jelle Klaasen, Joe Cullen and Daryl Gurney in what looks a competitive little half.
As far as the qualifiers go in this section we have Jan Dekker, Dirk van Duijvenbode, Jonny Clayton, home hero Max Hopp, Mark Webster, John Henderson, Krzysztof Ratajski and James Richardson so this really does look competitive.
Michael van Gerwen is the headline name in the bottom half of the draw as is often the case. The other seeds in this half are Simon Whitlock, Dave Chisnall, Benito van de Pas, Gerwyn Price, Ian White, Michael Smith and Cristo Reyes.
The qualifiers for this half include the biggest name of the lot of them in Adrian Lewis. Keegan Brown, Steve West, Rob Cross, Ulf Ceder, Matt Clark, Joe Murnan, Dimitri van den Bergh make up the rest of the field.
I’m taking two men in the outright betting this week. Both are in the top half so that we can avoid van Gerwen until the final. The first player is Daryl Gurney who has already won a tournament this season and who certainly has the class to come through any draw. He might have to deal with Peter Wright in the last 16 but if he can come through that then the draw will open up for him and at that stage he would look a big price at 50/1. Gurney can score with anyone so if he can click on the doubles he’s a danger.
Joe Cullen is another one who has already won a tournament this year and I see no reason why he can’t take advantage of his draw. It isn’t soft in that it has a couple of Premier League players in it but the top seed is Mensur Suljovic and he has to be taken on. James Wade and Jelle Klaasen are the other seeds but they will face each other in the last 16. If Cullen can make it past Suljovic into the quarter final then he could have a couple of more wins in him to land us a pay out at a big price.
Back D.Gurney to win European Darts Grand Prix (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 51.00 with Coral (1/3 1-2)
Back J.Cullen to win European Darts Grand Prix (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with Coral (1/3 1-2)