Cardiff seems to be getting all the big sports events of late, games in the Rugby World Cup last year, this season’s Champions League final and this weekend it plays host to a brand new stop on the darts calendar.
The inaugural Champions League of Darts takes place on Saturday and Sunday in the Motorpoint Arena and sees PDC darts hit BBC screens for the first time.
With the world’s top eight ranked players chasing £100,000 there should be fireworks, but one man seems to stand above the rest on ‘planet darts’ at the moment – Michael van Gerwen.
Mighty Mike is the whopping favourite for the tournament, to be honest it’s easy to see why.
Since losing to Phil Taylor in the Sydney Darts Masters final on August 20, the world number one has been on an absolute tear and has won an amazing 35 matches in a row.
Van Gerwen has won 19 tournaments on the PDC tour this year and has also triumphed in at least one event in every month of 2016. He also hit two nine-darters in his last three outings.
So you can see why it seems impossible to back against the Dutch man.
The format sees van Gerwen grouped with 16-time world champion Phil Taylor, Peter Wright and Robert Thornton. The other group holds current champion of the world Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis, James Wade and Micheal Smith.
A win in the opening game on Saturday afternoon will see a play-off against the other victor in the group in the evening, with the losers of the earlier game also meeting each other later.
Sunday afternoon’s action kicks off with the final group game and it’s the top two in each group that progress to the semis. The semi-finals and final then take place on Sunday evening.
Of the others involved at the weekend, Taylor at or on Anderson look the most likely bets to topple Mighty Mike.
Taylor and Anderson are the only two players in top eight to have won a tournament in the last four months on the PDC Tour other than van Gerwen.
With only four ties announced for Saturday we’ve decided to put together a cheeky acca on them which comes in at just over 6/1.
First off, we’ll punt for Gary Anderson to beat Michael Smith at . Anderson won the previous TV meeting of the pair, 7-3 in the Premier League, with ease and should easily out-average the youngster.
We won’t make things easy, so we’ll choose a handicap for our next leg. The entire history of darts tells you not to back against the greatest that ever lived and we won’t!
Phil Taylor (-2.5) legs to beat Peter Wright at is our next selection. Wright has picked off Taylor here and there, but usually ‘the Power’ comes out on top in the ones that really matter.
Third on our list is the shot of Adrian Lewis being the declared the winner against James Wade. Whenever these two face each other, a cracker usually follows.
‘Jackpot’ is our choice though, as he has won three of the last four meetings of the pair.
Last be certainly not least, we have Michael van Gerwen v Robert Thornton.
You really couldn’t back against Mighty Mike, so will take him at (-5.5) in the best of 19 legs contest against Thornton given the incredible form he’s in to round our acca.