There is a new-look to the season-opening Masters but nothing new about world champion Gerwyn Price’s victory claims.
There is a new name at the top of the PDC rankings with Gerwyn Price kicking off the 2021 campaign at the Masters as the man to beat following his thrilling World Championship title triumph at Alexandra Palace.
Price pulled off quite the double in North London taking the world crown off Peter Wright and world No.1 status off Michael van Gerwen with his magnificent 7-3 victory over Gary Anderson in the final at Ally Pally.
The Masters in Milton Keynes has a different look to it this year with 24 stars going to post. It has always been a 16-man event in the past.
What doesn’t change is MvG’s place at the head of the betting though he’s a cooler jolly than he has been for years at
5/2. And while he can be opposed, Gezzy still rates a bet.
All Hail Quarter Master King
The Iceman steamrolled his way through 2020, winning more events than any other player with successes at the World Series, Grand Prix and World Cup merely warm-ups for what was to come at the Palace.
His levels of self-belief – which were always pretty high – will be through the roof now and he’s the best bet at
Price can hardly argue with the draw – his top-eight rivals in the top half are Anderson, whose number he very definitely has, the out-of-sorts Rob Cross, and Nathan Aspinall, who is changing darts as a response to his cliff-edge fall at the back of 2020.
Indeed, Gezzy’s bigger challenge could well come in round two from the winner of the first-round showdown between Joe Cullen and a rejuvenated Stephen Bunting.
The second quarter featuring Cross and Aspinall looks absolutely ripe for a shock with Mervyn King at
11/2 well worth a punt. King, who looked a million dollars at Alexandra Palace reaching round four where he was one of only five players with a tournament average over 100, can take care of Glen Durrant, Cross and then any one of Aspinall, Ian White or Mensur Suljovic.
Eagle Eyes a Run to the Final
Mighty Mike is the big noise in the bottom half but, like Aspinall, is also changing his equipment and that’s a serious call. He knew he needed to do something after an underwhelming campaign, and is desperate to reclaim his place at the head of the sport, but this is a radical response and he’s probably best to be monitored.
One outsider from the bottom half to side with may well be The Polish Eagle, Krzysztof Ratajski, one of the rising stars of the sport having shot into the world’s top 16.
A quarter-finalist at the Matchplay, same again at the Worlds, the only way is up for Ratajski,
33/1, who is definitely suited to the absence of fans.
*All odds correct at time of writing