Taylor on the drift
Bookies 2/1 on 'The Power' to retain World Grand Prix crown
Last Updated: 08/10/12 3:27pm
Phil Taylor: Tricky opener for defending champion
Sky Bet make Phil Taylor favourite to regain his World Grand Prix crown in Dublin despite question marks over his current form.
'The Power' begins his defence of the title against 5/1 shot Michael Smith at the Citywest Hotel as the longest price in a major tournament for nearly two years.
Taylor has struggled of late losing to last year's beaten finalist Brendan Dolan in the recent European Championships and recently failed to qualify for the Championship League finals.
His indifferent form has seen Sky Bet's Head of Darts, Craig Ibbotson, push Taylor, winner of the tournament ten times in its 14 year history, out to 2/1 to win.
"Taylor has been well below par in recent displays and this is a tournament that has a habit of producing upsets in the early rounds,"explained Ibbotson.
"He faces Michael Smith tonight and he's more than capable of causing an upset."
Another man facing a difficult opening clash is 16/1 shot Gary Anderson who takes on Northern Ireland's Dolan (66/1).
Anderson, the current world No4, returned to form this weekend despite suffering a narrow defeat in the Players Championship final at the same venue against Robert Thornton.
Dutchman Michael Van Gerwen (22/1) also goes into the event on a high after claiming his fourth PDC ProTour title of the year as he edged out Thornton (40/1), before the Scot bounced back and won 6-5 against Anderson.
With a host of potential shocks on the cards Sky Bet are offering 4/7 for a new champion to be crowned this year and 5/4 for one of the previous champions Taylor, James Wade (8/1) and Colin Lloyd (66/1) to lift the title.
You can also name the finalists with Taylor against Wade a 10/1 shot, or Dolan, last year's beaten finalist, against Adrian Lewis a 150/1 shot.
The online bookmaker are also offering daily enhanced accumulators and Monday's includes Anderson, Simon Whitlock, Taylor and Kevin Painter all to win at 5/1.