Group A – Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Michael Smith, James Wade
You have to look at Michael because he won last week in the Grand Prix, so he should win that group.
Who’s next is a tough one. Smith, Anderson or Wade. The player who stands out over the year is James Wade. He’s played really well this year and had a solid Premier League with very good results in later tournaments, especially on the Pro Tour events.
People might think of him as an outsider, but James is a class player – why does no one talk about him as a favourite? At least not many people do, but, in my eyes, he’s top five or six in the world, no doubt.
Group B: Rob Cross, Peter Wright, Daryl Gurney, Gerwyn Price
This is an unbelievably good group. Peter Wright’s playing amazingly at the moment. He’s gone back to his old darts and had a record 123.5 average against Ratajski the other day on the Pro Tour, which is fantastic. He lost in the semi-finals there but he won the next day so he’s in unbelievably good in form. He has to be worth picking for the group winner.
Peter is always searching for a little bit more, but what he did last week, that was amazing and if he can keep that up he can go far.
He keeps switching his darts though. I’d tell him, don’t do it! I mean, if you average 123.5, come on! You must have something telling you to stick with them!
Then it’s between Gurney, Cross and Price. They all three in good form, maybe Gurney not that good in the Grand Prix when he got kicked out first round. So I think I will go for Rob Cross as number two.
He’s flying since the first round in the Grand Prix, and that’s a tough competition because of the double opener. No one likes it.
After round one, he was so good. Jamie Hughes could have caught him but Michael was hitting fantastic finishes and there was never a problem, and then he went and won the tournament. So I have to take Michael to pick for the winner with his form so good.
He’s the Grand Prix winner now, he hits his 180s and finishes so easy at the moment.
This competition has been running a few years now and he’s not won it yet. It’d be very special for him to lift this trophy – he’d have won all the tournaments then, so I will think he will be determined to win this.
It could be any of the seven next to Michael. There’s no bad player here. If you try to break it down, Gary Anderson’s still working back from injury and that’s meant he’s not had a good season, because he missed the start of the Premier League and he’s not had a good result so far. Michael Smith’s been a bit up-and-down as well.
Gerwyn Price and Peter Wright are in very good in form though. Rob Cross too. So I have to pick between one of those three, Wright, Cross or Price. I think Gerwyn Price can go far and maybe finish runner-up. In this tournament, it’s like survival of the fittest. You have to play a lot of matches in a long format and based on that, Gerwyn is an athlete. That could help him.
Peter Wright. Daryl Gurney hits them a lot. so do Price and Smith, but I will have to pick someone who I’d expect to make the semi-finals at least. It’s Peter for me as he’s scoring so heavily recently. He’s worth picking at the price.
Well, at the moment, I will say Peter Wright as well, based on what he did last week. Michael van Gerwen is in form, of course, but last week it was not even possible to hit a nine-darter with a double opener!
Between those two, Wright or Michael, I’ll go for Peter but, to be fair, they all can do it.
This is the top eight in the world, so there is not a bad player between them.
They’re all so good and everyone can beat each other and hit the big scores.
*All odds correct at time of posting