The first televised PDC major since the World Series Tour Finals gets underway this week as the World Grand Prix gets underway at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Tuesday.
Whether it’s the year we have had or not, but darts feels more open now than at any point in the past few seasons when it felt that Michael van Gerwen was near imperial. This year, MVG has but one televised title, same as Gerwyn Price and Dimitri van den Bergh and one less than Peter Wright.
Price in particular has been in good form of late following up his win in Austria with a near miss in at German Masters where Devon Peterson took the crown.
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The Iceman, along with world champion Peter Wright are both 5/1 with bet365 to take the Grand Prix title with the Welshman particularly tempting right now, particularly with no crowds allowed in to boo him. Price begins his campaign on Wednesday when he faces Jermaine Wattimena in a tough opener.
Snakebite also needs to wait until Wednesday when he faces Ryan Joyce in what should be a far more simple match. Or at least as simple as Snakey is willing to make it on himself.
As for defending champion and five-time winner MVG, he is the favourite at 10/3, which is as long a price he has been pre-tourney for some time. Mighty Mike’s campaign begins against the Polish Eagle Krzysztof Ratajski on Tuesday night.
This famously is the double start tournament, meaning that games must start as well as end on a double throw which has in the past proved to be a decent leveler. That, and no fans as well as a change of venue – this normally goes off at the CityWest in Dublin — might mean we are in for some shocks this week. We certainly hope so.
As for movers outside the big three, Nathan Aspinall, who has now cemented himself in the PDC top eight, is a 10/1 shot, four points in from Gary ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson at 14/1. Glen Durrant is a teasing 16/1 which shouldn’t be carelessly dismissed while Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith is available at 16’s to finally break his major duck.
South Africa’s Devon Peterson, winner in Germany recently, is 22/1, while Rob Cross is 28/1 and Daryl Gurney 35/1, all with bet365.
World Grand Prix Draw
First Round (Best of three sets)
Tuesday October 6
- Adrian Lewis v Chris Dobey
- Danny Noppert v Ryan Searle
- Mensur Suljovic v Dirk van Duijvenbode
- Jose De Sousa v Devon Petersen
- James Wade v Mervyn King
- Rob Cross v Gary Anderson
- Michael van Gerwen v Krzysztof Ratajski
- Michael Smith v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Wednesday October 7
- Brendan Dolan v Kim Huybrechts
- Jamie Hughes v Stephen Bunting
- Jonny Clayton v Ian White
- Dave Chisnall v Glen Durrant
- Daryl Gurney v Joe Cullen
- Peter Wright v Ryan Joyce
- Gerwyn Price v Jermaine Wattimena
- Nathan Aspinall v Gabriel Clemens
Second Round (Best of five sets)
Thursday October 8
- Four second-round matches
Friday October 9
- Four second-round matches
Quarter-Finals (Best of five sets)
Saturday October 10
- Four quarter-finals
Semi-Finals (Best of seven sets)
Sunday October 11
- Winner QF 1 v Winner QF 2
- Winner QF 3 v Winner QF 4
Monday October 12
- Final (Best of nine sets)
QUICK GLANCE AT DARTS WORLD GRAND PRIX 2020
Venue: Ricoh Arena, Coventry
Dates: 06.10.2020 – 13.10.2020
Format: Best of 3, 5, 7, 9 legs
Current Champion: Michael van Gerwen
Where to Watch: Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Arena
When to Watch: (1900 GMT)