Wade the One to Watch at the Players

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The Players Championship is next up for darts fans and the feeling is that there is a chance for some of the outsiders to make a push for glory.

James Wade during the William Hill World Darts Championship

Hot on the heels of the Grand Slam of Darts the PDC Tour moves onto the Players Championship finals on Friday. 

The top-64 players from the Players Championship events of 2020 will be facing off in Coventry for some multi-board action minus the usual Minehead mayhem. 

Favourites Out of Form

Michael van Gerwen is the defending champion, and although the draw looks to have been fairly kind to MVG, recent form means it’s tough to get too excited about the 7/2 on offer for the Dutchman. 

Gerwyn Price is the 7/2 joint-favourite alongside MVG but his draw looks difficult enough to pose questions of him at that price. 

Peter Wright is next in at 5/1 but Snakebite hasn’t been in great form and at the prices, it could pay to look further down the betting. 

Wade in With the Machine

James Wade enjoyed a fantastic run to the final of the Grand Slam earlier this week and he looks a value each-way play at 22/1

The Machine won all three group stage matches in Coventry and that was a challenging section containing Damon Heta, Jermaine Wattimena and Glen Durrant. 

Wade then went on to beat Ian White with a 96.18 three-dart average, at the last-16 stage, before once again beating Heta with a 101.66 effort in the last eight. 

The Aldershot man showed all his class when beating the in-form Dimitri van den Bergh in the semis, and although the final against Jose de Sousa prived to be a step too far, that doesn’t take away from Wade’s excellent chance at the Players. 

The Machine looks to have been handed a kind draw, with Brendan Dolan and Ryan Joyce the highest-ranked players housed in his section and he could well outrun his odds this week. 

Polish Eagle Ready to Take off

Another player to consider at a tasty price of 20/1 is Krzysztof Ratajski.

Just scanning the recent results of the Polish Eagle wouldn’t give you much confidence about his chances of winning this week, but look a bit deeper and a good run doesn’t look too far away. 

Ratajski’s three-match averages in the recent Grand Slam were 94.37, 94.76 and 104.18. The Warsaw man can consider himself a little unlucky to come away from that event with just a single win and you can say the same when he averaged 99.76 in a first-round defeat to Steve West in the European Championships. 

The results aren’t going Ratajski’s way, but the performance level is there and it looks only a matter of time before the Polish Eagle enjoys a good run. 

*All odds correct at time of writing

An experienced sports journalist, Henry’s knowledge spans across a number of different areas, including darts and snooker.

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