It’s been a surprisingly long time coming but Michael van Gerwen finally added the Champions League of Darts, the last remaining unclaimed title of his career, to his stunning darting CV.
Mighty Mike had to rely on luck as his opponent Peter Wright missed three match darts when leading 10-7 that would have seen Snakebite pick up his second televised career trophy. In the end, Wright fluffed his lines leaving MVG to pick up four legs on the spin to lift the belt following a thrilling 11-10 final result in Leicester on Sunday night.
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The Dutchman got the final underway with a finish from 88 as part of an 11 darter which was immediately stubbed out by Wright’s 156 checkout. Things were deadlocked for three successive sets before Snakebite won four legs in a row.
MVG chalked off the next two to half the deficit only to see Wright, playing as well as he has all year, reestablish a three-leg lead at 8-5. Before long Snakebite, who was runner up in the Champions League one year ago, found himself throwing for the title only for familiar demons to return. Sadly, once he missed his three shots at victory you sensed his chance had passed him by even though he was still far enough ahead at the time.
Sure enough, momentum started to switch the way of the Dutchman, who took the remaining points on offer to cruelly punish Wright and complete his career clean sweep. This year alone, van Gerwen has won the Darts Masters, Darts Premier League, Melbourne Darts Masters, New Zealand Darts Masters and World Grand Prix Darts as well as the World Darts Championship, which although technically counts as last season, was still achieved on New Year’s Day.
MVG will now be favourite for the upcoming, World Series of Darts Finals on November 1, Grand Slam of Darts on November 9, Players Championship Finals on November 22 and of course the 2020 World Darts Championship for which Betway already have him priced at 5/4.
He has also been installed as favourite for this week’s tournament in Gottingen.
European Championship Darts Betting Tips
Play now moves to Germany and the small town of Gottingen for the European Championship. The event will take place in the historic University of Gottingen and gets underway this Thursday. Yes, Michael van Gerwen is favourite at 11/8, but why wouldn’t he be? He has after all recently completed his career clean sweep and had won this particular event for four years in a row until last year when he was eliminated in the second round in a surprising defeat to Steve West.
What that proves, along with early exits in both the UK Open and World Matchplay, is that even MVG doesn’t win all the time. Many eyes will then turn to defending champion James Wade who is a tempting 28/1. Wade beat Simon Whitlock – 2019 price 100/1 – in last year’s final but in truth neither has done much recently to suggest they will be in contention here.
Rob Cross has also been struggling of late and lost all three of his Champions League group matches. Voltage has also been drawn in the same quarter as Mighty Mike so bear that in mind when selecting this 11/1 shot.
At least it can be argued that form can turn in an instant. Just ask Peter Wright. Snakebite had been having a miserable season until just recently. Then, out of nowhere, he set a new record for the highest ever recorded average in a live broadcast darts match with a 123.5 during a 6-0 quarter-final win over Krzysztof Ratajski at the Players Championship 29. This before making it to the final of The Champions League where he really should have won. Can he go one better in Gottingen? Betway’s 9/1 says he can.
One player who could go deep is Gerwyn Price, who has landed in the same side of the draw as Mensur Suljovic (18/1), Nathan Aspinall (22/1) and Krzysztof Ratajski (25/1), none of whom will worry him. The Iceman was the only player other than MVG to average above 100 in the Champions League group stage and made it to the semis where he averaged 102. The Welshman controversially landed the Grand Slam title last year and is 10/1 at Betway to win in Germany too.
QUICK GLANCE AT THE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP DARTS
Venue: University of Gottingen, Germany
Dates: Thursday 24 October 2019 – 27 October 2019
Format: Best of 11, 19 & 21
Current Champion: James Wade
Where To Watch: ITV 4
When To Watch: (1145, 1800 GMT)
2019 European Championship Schedule
Thursday October 24
- Joe Cullen v Mervyn King
- Dave Chisnall v Dimitri Van den Bergh
- Glen Durrant v Ricky Evans
- Adrian Lewis v Simon Whitlock
- Rob Cross v Darren Webster
- James Wade v Jonny Clayton
- Michael van Gerwen v Ross Smith
- Daryl Gurney v William O’Connor
Friday October 25
- Jamie Hughes v Jermaine Wattimena
- Keegan Brown v Stephen Bunting
- Krzysztof Ratajski v Chris Dobey
- Nathan Aspinall v Steve Beaton
- Mensur Suljovic v Vincent van der Voort
- Ian White v Michael Smith
- Peter Wright v Jeffrey de Zwaan
- Gerwyn Price v Ted Evetts
- Cullen/King v Cross/Webster
- Gurney/O’Connor v Lewis/Whitlock
- Chisnall/Van den Bergh v Wade/Clayton
- Van Gerwen/R Smith v Durrant/Evans
Saturday October 26
- Suljovic/Van der Voort v Ratajski/Dobey
- White/M Smith v Brown/Bunting
- Price/Evetts v Aspinall/Beaton
- Wright/De Zwaan v Hughes/Wattimena
Sunday October 27