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Taylor is Back but Not Unbeatable

Taylor celebrates win in Premier League

Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor begins the defence of his Premier League crown at London’s O2 arena this Thursday when he faces world champion Adrian Lewis.

Taylor bounced back to winning ways when he took the Players Championship Finals title on Sunday, beating Gary Anderson 13-12 in an epic final. It was the 15-time world champion’s first title for seven months halting, but not completely dispelling, rumours of his decline.

Although it is indisputable that Taylor remains the number one darts player in the world it is similarly incontestable that the gap between The Power and the rest is diminishing. Taylor can no longer win tournaments at a canter.

Writing on social networking site Twitter in the aftermath of his victory Taylor commented that it was the “hardest tournament” he had ever won. Quite a statement from a man who has won everything that there is to win in darts, multiple times over.

He is priced at 6/4 to win the 2011 Premier League of Darts having been odds-on prices prior to last season’s tournament.

Players Championship Finals runner-up Anderson is the second favourite in the betting at odds of 11/2. The Scot was reported to have not picked up a set of darts in between his PDC World Championship final defeat and the opening round of the Players Championship Finals. His impressive averages and form throughout offering a glowing reference to his natural ability.

Newly crowned World Champion Adrian Lewis had a disappointing tournament as Steve Beaton knocked him out in the first round. Lewis has been criticised in the past for being too inconsistent and it will be interesting to see how he copes with the pressures of being a world champion. He is 7/1 to add the Premier League trophy to his cabinet.

Simon Whitlock is a 6/1 chance to make the Premier League his first major title, James Wade is 8/1 to go one better than his runner-up finish in this event last year and Mark Webster is a 14/1 chance to win the Premier League in his debut year.

Raymond van Barneveld’s recent slump in form means that he is a big 16/1 for the title and terry Jenkins is the rank outsider at odds of 25/1.

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