Reigning champion Phil Taylor draws John Henderson in the World Matchplay Darts event at Winter Gardens in Blackpool
Phil “The Power” Taylor has dominated the world darts scene for decades, although Blackpool holds a special place in the heart of the 54-year-old.
Taylor has won the past seven World Matchplay Darts events, most recently beating Michael van Gerwen in the final last summer and has been drawn to play John Henderson in his opener at Winter Gardens.
Despite The Power’s impressive record in this tournament, the bookmakers offer 3/1 about the Stoke ace landing yet another Matchplay title and perhaps those odds are a touch skinny.
After all, he could play Raymond van Barneveld as early as the second round in Blackpool, while Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson will be gunning for their first World Matchplay crown.
Anderson’s meteoric rise over the past few months have seen the Scot win the World Championship and Premier League. He’s available at 6/1 to claim victory in this tournament and has to be the value pick.
The big problem with Gary was that his wobble on doubles at key moments of the match diluted his consistent power-scoring although it appears that Anderson has finally got both elements of his game combined.
At bigger odds, Barney can be backed at 40/1 on the basis that he could be a massive contender if he can somehow overcome Taylor en route to the latter stages.
Van Barneveld has the game to go close and let’s not forget it was the Dutchman who reached the semi-finals of the Premier League and not Taylor this year. He narrowly lost to Michael van Gerwen in the semi-finals and is overpriced for the Blackpool renewal.
BetVictor World Matchplay 2015 first round draw
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Benito van de Pas
Justin Pipe (16) v Jamie Lewis
Simon Whitlock (8) v Jelle Klaasen
Ian White (9) v Stephen Bunting
Peter Wright (5) v Kim Huybrechts
Mervyn King (12) v Andrew Gilding
Michael Smith (13) v Gerwyn Price
Adrian Lewis (4) v Joe Murnan
Gary Anderson (3) v Steve Beaton
Terry Jenkins (14) v Mensur Suljovic
Brendan Dolan (11) v Vincent van der Voort
James Wade (6) v Kyle Anderson
Dave Chisnall (7) v Jamie Caven
Robert Thornton (10) v Keegan Brown
Raymond van Barneveld (15) v Andy Hamilton
Phil Taylor (2) v John Henderson