This year’s tournament has already produced high quality, shocks and drama aplenty and night three should be no different.
Champion in Liverpool Jonny Clayton is favourite to go all the way again at 3/1, with Joe Cullen available at 15/2. Michael Smith is the only player without a point on the board, he’s also 15/2 to pick up the £10,000 bonus.
I don’t think I was the only person who was made to look silly by Michael van Gerwen’s
performances in Liverpool. He brushed aside an underwhelming Peter Wright with a clinical display on the outer ring.
Despite losing out to Jonny Clayton in the semi-final, he averaged in excess of 105 and looked competitive throughout. Of course we know what he’s capable of but we don’t necessarily expect greatness from van Gerwen at the moment.
He doesn’t have the fear factor anymore, players are exploiting his vulnerabilities more and more often but whilst there are glimpses of The Green Machine of old, putting a consistent string of results together and regularly picking up titles is clearly something that’s playing on his mind.
Reaching the semi-final of Players Championship three at the weekend will have given him a boost but he needs to get back into the habit of winning. He’s a player who thrives on the pressure of being top dog, being the player to beat and getting people talking about him for the right reasons.
MvG can’t seem to win events at the moment but his opponent in the quarter-final this week can’t stop winning.
Masters champion Joe Cullen followed up his impressive run to the final last Thursday with double success in the Players Championship events in Wigan.
The Rockstar also came out on top when the two met at the Masters less than a month ago and he’s 11/10 to triumph over MvG on Thursday.
Cullen is 5/4 to hit over 3.5 180s in the match and as I expect there to be at least nine legs and given the regularity in which he’s hit them on the floor recently, I think this is a good bet.
Price is on a superb run
Gerwyn Price managed to survive the weekend as world number one but will have to go some in Riesa if he is to maintain the top spot beyond the first Euro Tour event of the season.
Price was unplayable at times on Sunday, averaging just shy of 115 against Krzysztof Kciuk and with a three darts average of 104 for the day in Wigan, the Welshman is undoubtedly in better form than his opening round opponent, Michael Smith. I think we’ll see the best of Price in Belfast, he’s 5/6 to average over 97.5 against Smith.
The Iceman has hit a 100+ checkout in each of his last 12 matches and even though Bully Boy has been largely underwhelming at the start of 2022, he has registered high checkouts of 136 and 150 in the Premier League so far.
I think there is value in backing each player to have one or more 100+ checkouts at 11/4.