Another weekend and another Euro Tour Darts event, this week in Germany. The Premier League darts produced some exciting matches on Thursday night, so hopefully there is more of the same over the weekend. Our darts expert James Punt has looked at the tournament in great detail. Check out his European Darts Grand-Prix preview below…
European Darts Grand-Prix Preview
The Euro Tour continues at a pace. This week we head to Sindelfingen in Germany for the European Darts Grand Prix. Rather than write a long preview I may as well just tip Van Gerwen to win and go and play some golf.
He has now won four of the five events so far and he is the defending champion. His performance here last year was superb. His tournament average was 107 and he beat James Wade 8-3 in the final with a 110.87 average. He was taken to a deciding leg in round 3 by Darren Webster and Chizzy gave him a match in the quarter final, losing 4-6 with a 107 average. It was peak MVG. Van Gerwen also won in 2016 and was runner up to Peter Wright in 2017.
Peter Wright is the other player with a stand out record here. Winner in 2017 and runner up in 2016 and 2015. Wright’s from since those halcyon days has tailed off though. This year he has made just one Euro Tour semi-final and two quarters. MVG and Wright met in last night’s Premier League and Van Gerwen won 8-1 with a 110 average. That sums up where the two are at the moment.
Who Can Stop MVG?
The seeds are the same as last week (bar Chisnall who has withdrawn, promoting Merv King to 16th seed) but we have a few different unseeded players on show this weekend but can anyone stop MVG? He has now won just over 50% of all the euro tour events he has entered so he is due a defeat at some point. However, he is great recent form and has good memories of this event.
He looks to have a very good draw as well with no real inform players due to play him until the semi-final. If he tends to be vulnerable in these events it is in his first match which weekend should be Brendan Dolan. Maybe Merv King in the 3rd round but King isn’t in great form. It is very possible he will face either Gurney or Adrian Lewis in the semi-final.
In the bottom half of the draw we have Ian White, the number three seed and runner up in the last two Euro Tour events. That is some turn around in his stage form, particularly after his melt down on the doubles three weeks ago Missing 32 doubles could have caused real scarring to a player but fair play to White he bounced straight back with two very good tournaments. He even gave MVG a proper contest in last week’s final taking it to the deciding leg which of course MVG won. His 24th Euro Tour deciding leg win in a row.
European Darts Grand-Prix Preview: Dimitri Not In Good Form
He will face Rasztovits or Dimitri van den Bergh and I don’t know what is up with Dimitri but he has played very poorly recently. Keegan Brown or Ricky Evan would be next and while both have shown some good from, White would be favourite to beat either. The quarters would be harder as he would face one of Rob Cross, Jeffery de Zwann, Ratajski or Michael Smith.
Gerwyn Price is the number two seed and in the third quarter of the draw. He doesn’t look to have too much to worry about until the quarter final but he certainly will be then. He will face one of Bunting, Beaton, Searle, Durrant, Suljovic or Wade. That’s tough.
Players in the best form are MVG obviously, Daryl Gurney, Stephen Bunting, Jeffery de Zwann, Nathan Aspinall, Steve Beaton, Rob Cross and Adrian Lewis.
Gurney & Price Could Be Distracted
Daryl Gurney reached the semi-final last week but was beaten by MVG who produced some excellent darts to get revenge on a player who had beaten three times on the trot. Gurney drew with Gerwen Price in last night’s Premier League match. However, the match ended in a near brawl and security guards had to intervene to separate the two players. There will be repercussions from that and it will be an unwelcome distraction for both. Enough for me to cross them both of the list of possible winners.
Stephen Bunting played well last week until he met MVG and he tamely surrendered 0-6. Unless he has been inspired by his beloved Liverpool’s win in midweek it is hard to see him going all the way. Jeffery de Zwann will win something big sooner or later but once again he gets a bad draw and is due to face Rob Cross again in the 2nd round. He had to play Cross last week but blew his chances and lost 5-6. It is now 4-0 to Cross in their H2H’s and that might just be getting into his head. Even if he can beat Cross his draw is tough match after tough match. He is not without a chance but maybe a better draw is needed.
Aspinall was unwell last week which hindered his performance. He still won two matches and so long as he is feeling well this weekend he could have a good run. He is in the top half of the draw so is likely to face MVG before the final. That is the big problem for anyone in the top half. MVG is at his peak; he is getting his game in tip top shape for the Premier League finals night and is in full flow.
Adonis In Decent Form
Steve Beaton did well to reach the quarter final last week and he is playing well. However is he really a contender for the title at 55 years of age? Playing four matches on a Sunday if he gets that far? That may be asking too much. Adrian Lewis has been playing well for a while now.
He won PC 8 in mid-March, was a semi-finalist in the German Darts Championship, was a quarter finalist in PC9 , a quarter finalist in the German Open, a semi-finalist in PC13 and a quarter finalist last weekend. Beaton has had problems getting past Daryl Gurney on the Euro Tour though. He is due to face him again in the quarter final. Even if he gets past him this week he is in MVG’s side of the draw.
Rob Cross is back to something like his best but his draw is tough. De Zwann will get him one day and he will have no easy looking matches on his route to a final, likely with MVG who has had the measure of him for a while now.
European Darts Grand-Prix Preview: MVG By Far The Most Likely Winner
I really can’t see past another win for Van Gerwen. He is just playing too well at the moment. Yes, somebody will probably push him to a final leg decider. However, he always wins those. We need someone to beat him in the fashion of what Keegan Brown did to him in the 2nd round of the German Darts Championship. A 6-4 with 100% on his doubles. It will take something that exceptional.
I might revisit the outright market later in the tournament but for now it’s a no bet or a huge one on MVG at 1.91 with a firm that won’t entertain my business. So it’s a no bet.
There are plenty of matches to look at and that is the main area of play this weekend.