The European Tour circuit is quite a busy one at the minute and another tournament takes place this weekend when the European Darts Grand Prix is played out inside the Glaspalast in Sindelfingen out in Germany.
Michael van Gerwen has been dominating the European scene so far this season and he will be looking for a successful title defence here having beaten James Wade in the final last year. A decent field oppose him this weekend which should make for a good event.
2018 – Michael van Gerwen
2017 – Peter Wright
2016 – Michael van Gerwen
2015 – Kim Huybrechts
2014 – Mervyn King
We are using the same format as last season for these tournaments which means that the last 32 of the tournament is played over two sessions of action on Saturday, with the last 16 on Sunday afternoon and the quarter finals on Sunday night. They are all the best-of-11 legs with the semi-finals also on Sunday evening. They are the best-of-13 and then the final in the same session is the best-of-15 legs. The draw has been pre-determined and is played in a straight knockout format.
Once again the halves have been switched to avoid a clash in monotony which means that we have Gerwyn Price as the main seed in the top half of the draw. Ian White has been beaten in the final of the last two European Tour events and he is in this half of the draw with Mensur Suljovic, Michael Smith, Rob Cross, Ricky Evans and Darren Webster the rest of the seeded players in the top half. James Wade was meant to be seeded here but the beaten finalist of last year pulled out on the eve of the tournament.
There are some tasty qualifiers in this section of the draw as well not least the Premier League contenders Dimitri Van den Bergh and Jeffrey de Zwaan while Krzysztof Ratajski is also in this top half of the draw. The other qualifiers are Keegan Brown, Steve Beaton, Gavin Carlin and Vincent van der Voort while Ryan Searle is a qualifier in this section which will go straight through to the last 16 after his seeded opponent pulled out in James Wade.
This is where Michael van Gerwen will attempt to defend his title from. He has had to come through a few battles in recent weeks and he could have some more to deal with here with Daryl Gurney seeded to be his big danger. Adrian Lewis, Mervyn King, Jonny Clayton, Peter Wright, Joe Cullen and Max Hopp are the other seeds in this part of the draw where all will be hoping MVG has an off weekend.
There are also some decent names in the qualifiers in the bottom half of the draw as well, not least the UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall and the Premier League contender Chris Dobey. Former BDO number one Mark McGeeney is in the field this week as are Jamie Hughes, Ross Smith, Brendan Dolan, James Richardson and Niels Zonneveld.
I’m convinced that Gerwyn Price is on the cusp of winning one of these things and with James Wade pulling out of his section I think this is the right weekend to stick with him. He might have a point to prove and get his head down after the shenanigans in the Premier League the other night. I mentioned last week how close he has gone to winning one of these and he was unlucky to lose to Wade in the quarter final.
On the face of it his quarter looks a whole lot easier without Wade in it and while Mensur Suljovic would rank as a tricky opponent in this part of the world, I don’t think it is beyond Price to make it to the semi-final and from there anything can happen as we all know. If Wade was in the quarter I wouldn’t bother with the Welshman at 20/1 but his absence makes Price the value here.
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