It is the third European Tour event of the season this weekend as the stars of the darting world head back to Germany for the German Darts Open. The European Order of Merit is beginning to take shape and this event will start to give us a clearer picture of who might be heading to the European Championship later in the year.
Peter Wright is the defending champion this weekend and he’ll be looking to go one step further than he has done in the opening two events of the campaign. The list of players on show is very strong though so whoever wins will have had to play well.
2017 – Peter Wright
Everyone should be getting used to the revised format by now. The 16 seeds are joined by 16 outsiders in the last 32 on Saturday with the remainder of the tournament played out across the two sessions on Sunday. The last 32 to the quarter finals are the best of 11 legs with the semi-finals moving up to the best of 13 and the champion will be decided on Sunday evening in a race to eight.
It is Michael van Gerwen who is the top seed once again this week and he is in the top half of the draw where he is a huge favourite to win the tournament. He is joined by a decent set of seeds although perhaps not as strong as recent competitions. The other seeds are Michael Smith, Daryl Gurney, Dave Chisnall, Ian White, Steve Beaton, Mervyn King and Jelle Klaasen.
Actually the qualifiers in this part of the draw are pretty decent. There is no doubt they are headed by James Wade but Steve Lennon had a great win on Friday. Danny Noppert is another top level qualifier in this half of the draw with Alan Tabern, Cameron Menzies, Jose Justivia, Rene Eidams and Maik Kuivenhoven make up the numbers.
We are seeded to get a semi-final between Peter Wright and Rob Cross but there are enough top players looking to knock them off their perch. Simon Whitlock was due to be in this half of the draw but he has pulled out with illness. That leaves Mensur Suljovic, Benito van de Pas, Joe Cullen, Darren Webster and Gerwyn Price the other seeds in this half of the draw.
Max Hopp and Paul Nicholson are standout qualifiers looking to secure big weekends while Steve West and Jermaine Wattimena are in this quarter too. Former world finalist Kirk Shepherd, Daniel Larsson and Luke Humphries have come through into this half too while world youth champion Dimitri van den Bergh will be out to end a poor recent run of form.
As ever I’m going to steer well clear from Michael van Gerwen’s half of the draw and there are two men who look to be decent enough value in the bottom half this weekend. I’m going to back the pair of them.
Mensur Suljovic was knocked out of the Premier League the other week and while he went out he certainly didn’t disgrace himself in the competition and I reckon he is worth a go over the course of this weekend. I’ve a suspicion that the big names will have an eye on the Rotterdam double header in midweek and if they do Suljovic, who is scoring pretty well and is always a reliable finisher, can be the one to take advantage.
With Simon Whitlock out of the tournament one of Joe Cullen, Luke Humphries or Daniel Larsson is going to be a quarter finalist in this event. It might be that they face Peter Wright in the last eight but I’m willing to take the chance that whoever it is will win that match. Humphries was superb on Friday averaging 103.63 in a win over Ronny Huybrechts. He averaged more than a ton in a match in the last European Tour event and took Rob Cross the distance in the last 16. Humphries is clearly a rising star and at 125/1 with the draw ready to open up I think he’s worth a nibble.
Back M.Suljovic to win German Darts Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 29.00 with 888sport (1/2 1-2)
Back L.Humphries to win German Darts Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 126.00 with Betfair (1/3 1-2)
Back him here: