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Anderson Primed for Top

Gary Anderson points to the crowd from the oche.


Gary Anderson faces Justin Pipe on the first day of the Players Championship Finals as he looks to capitalise on Phil Taylor’s recent vulnerability.

Taylor’s loss of form culminated in him losing his world title at Alexandra Palace last month and has continued with mediocre performances at the recent Players Championship event in Germany. Now The Power looks to have lost his air of invincibility and Anderson is favoured to take up the mantle.

The Scotsman is the 5/1 second-favourite to win the event this weekend and is a 2/7 chance to progress from his first round match against Pipe.

The tournament kicks off with Colin Osborne up against Dennis Ovens, who beat Taylor at the weekend, in what is expected to be a closely fought affair. Osborne has recently ditched the nickname ‘The Wizard’ in order to avoid confusion with Simon Whitlock, who also goes by the same pseudonym, and will now be known as ‘Ozzy’.

The bookmakers quote Osborne at odds of 8/15 for this one with Ovens available to back at the slightly bigger price of 6/4.

Dennis Priestley showed that he could still mix it with the best at the recent PDC World Championships when he pushed Gary Anderson all the way in a thrilling match. He is the slight outsider at odds of 6/5 when he faces Andy Hamilton in the first round.

Ronnie Baxter won a Players Championship event at the weekend to show that he comes into this one in good form but he’ll be up against another in-form player Andy Smith. Smith beat Taylor in last Saturday’s event before being knocked out in the quarter-finals, both players are being quoted at odds around the even money mark.

The winds of change are blowing in darting circles and although we’ve been here before there is a sneaky feeling that this time Taylor’s demise may be more terminal. Only time will tell.

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