Although Michael van Gerwen is in the top quarter of the draw for the PDC World Darts Championship there is no doubt which section will have the most focus in the tournament and that is the bottom quarter.
That is because that is where Phil Taylor will play his final tournament from but there are plenty of other big names around to take him on not least the twice winner Gary Anderson. James Wade and Mervyn King will be out to remind people it isn’t all about those three.
(6) Phil Taylor v Chris Dobey
(27) Justin Pipe v Xiao Chen Zong/Bernie Smith
(11) James Wade v Keegan Brown
(22) Mervyn King v Zoran Lerchbacher
(3) Gary Anderson v Jeff Smith/Luke Humphries
(30) Mark Webster v Kai Fan Leung/Paul Lim
(14) Benito van de Pas v Steve West
(19) Joe Cullen v Jermaine Wattimena
Phil Taylor will begin his final tournament in the top half of this quarter against a potentially dangerous opponent in Chris Dobey although the youngster may lack the consistency to get the job done. Taylor may not have wanted to see James Wade in his early path but there is no guarantee Wade comes through the all-Hampshire battle between himself and Keegan Brown.
The other half of the draw looks to be a procession to the quarter final for Gary Anderson but we shouldn’t completely forget he was having shoulder issues in the Players Championship last month. One of Benito van de Pas or Joe Cullen have the chance to go relatively deep.
While I acknowledge the potential injury cloud around Anderson whichever way I look at this quarter I just can’t see a quarter final which isn’t Phil Taylor vs Gary Anderson. That will be quite some contest and with the openness of the third quarter you would say that match could be the one to determine who makes the final from the bottom half of the draw.
I’m already pretty deep on Phil Taylor outright but given that he’s only 2/1 to win the quarter and he wouldn’t be much shorter than that if indeed he does face Anderson in the quarter final I’m not that keen to take him here. The only person to oppose him with would be Anderson but not at odds on so this is a no bet quarter.