The world’s eight best players head to Brighton this weekend for the third ever Champions League of Darts. This year’s tourney is a new event for Brighton, having replaced Cardiff which hosted the previous two events in 2016 and 2017.
And it was in the Welsh capital a year ago that Mensur Suljovic broke his PDC title duck as he defied pre-tournament odds of 40/1 to take down the tournament, his first ever major televised title. One year earlier, the inaugural event in 2016 out to be one of the final tournament wins of Phil Taylor’s illustrious career.
This year, the Champions League — the only PDC event to be shown on the BBC — brings the likes of Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson and World Champion Rob Cross together as they all attempt to lift the trophy for the first time at the Brighton Centre.
Arrows will be in the air from 13:15 this Saturday with the event drawing to a close on Sunday night. The top seven players in the world are all guaranteed to play, as is the defending champion, Mensur Suljovic, who already had a guaranteed place courtesy of being ranked in the top seven, allowing a spot to open up for the world number eight Dave Chisnall.
The groups were drawn as following:
Michael van Gerwen
The winners — and losers for that matter — of the afternoon session meet in the evening session. The remaining group stage fixtures are played on Sunday afternoon with the semi-finals and final in the Sunday evening.
Champions League Of Darts betting tips
As ever, Michael van Gerwen is the favourite but this talent-filled round-robin event should provide plenty of upsets. That said, Mighty Mike’s short price of 5/6 at Betway is no surprise given that the Dutchman performs well in this type of shoot-out event and has enjoyed another bumper season. In fact, the most surprising thing about MVG in this event is that he is still yet to win it. Does this make him even more dangerous this year? Possibly.
In contrast, world number two Peter Wright — 15/8 to top Group B — has had a torrid season, which is why Betway have let his price for the overall win drift out to 15/2. That is still an attractive offer, considering Snakebite is reckoned to be the second best player in the world. 10/11 is the price for any member of the field to win that isn’t named Michael van Gerwen.
Personally, my own money will be going on Gary ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson given we have seen fleeting moments of his brilliant best this season. Anderson has been drawn in the same group as MVG and the two are priced at 5/2 and 4/11 to win their groups, respectively. But, if like me, you are looking to back Anderson for an outright victory then 4/1 are the magic numbers you are looking for.
Reigning champion Mensur Suljovic has been priced at a tasty looking 10/1 for a repeat victory, while those that predict Rob Cross to make another surprise win will be pleased to see Betway value him at 11/2. Bringing up the field are Daryl Gurney, Dave Chisnall, both 33/1, and Simon Whitlock, who is ranked as a 50/1 shot.