Live on ITV4: from Sat: Phil Taylor begins the defence of his Grand Slam of Darts title on Saturday, the Daily Star’s Kevin Francis previews.
Backing Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor to successfully defend his title in this £400,000 classic at Wolverhampton Civic Hall is, not surprisingly, not all that tempting. The odds on an outright win for the 15-times world champion are somewhat prohibitive at a best-priced 1/2 with Stan James.
It may be better to look for an each-way shot at more attractive odds. James Wade, who has now hit a career-high number two in the world rankings, looks a very good chance of showing once again just why he has reached such lofty heights. Wade hit a nine-dart finish in this event two years ago and looks excellent each-way value at 10/1 with Betfred, Sportingbet and Coral.
Another tempting each-way chance is five-times world champ Raymond Van Barneveld who hit a nine-darter en route to the World Matchplay final in Blackpool this summer. The Dutchman, who will be roared along by his “Barney Army” fan club, is a stand-out 18/1 with Sportingbet.