European Championship reaches its climax


Starting tonight and lasting for three days, the final events of this year’s European Championship at the Ethias Arena in Hasselt, Belgium gets underway.

The £400,000 tournament brings together the top 32 players from this year’s ten PDC European Tour events so far, but all the focus, as ever, is on the Dutch darts master that is Michael Van Gerwen, gunning here for his third European Championship in a row.

Van Gerwen, who staged a long-remembered comeback in last year’s final against Gary Anderson, has won over half of this year’s ten European Tour events already. Not that he needed it, but this ensures Mighty Mike’s top seeding here. Despite this, MVG still has a more than challenging opening clash against 2012 champion, Simon Whitlock.

Four-time winner of the event, the legendary Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor faces seventh seed, Alan ‘Chuck’ Norris, who earnt his ranking courtesy of his victory in this year’s final European Tour event in Germany a fortnight ago and, while Norris has found form, Taylor’s class should see him through.

Another round one high profile clash is the coming together of reigning world champion Gary Anderson of Scotland and England’s James Wade, the latter taking down a European Tour event in Hamburg back in May.

While Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis sits out the event, which will be screened live on ITV 4, other big names on display include Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright who faces Justin Pipe first, and Dave ‘Chizzy’ Chisnall who meets Kyle Anderson this evening.

The best darts betting tips for Belgium

It goes without saying that Michael van Gerwen is the favourite, with a best price 5/4 at SkyBet to win a third successive European Championship title. SkyBet dig the deepest again for second-favourite Phil Taylor, who enjoyed success in the fifth leg of the tour in Vienna back in June.

They are laying 4/1 on The Power, who finds himself in the other side of the draw to MVG. Should these two make Sunday’s final, you can back an MVG v Taylor match off at 100/30, again with SkyBet.

For a little outside punt, Peter Wright can be backed at 14/1 at both Bet365 and Betway, while the latter are offering the best price on Dave Chisnall at 16/1. Discounting the two favourites, Snakebite and Chizzy are both sound bets, but it’s possibly Gary ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson that might be worth a punt.

If you are feeling brave, SkyBet’s RequestABet format has produced the unusual selection: Chris Dobey to beat Phil Taylor in the second round of the European Champs at 14/1, which, if it pays off, surely deserves better reward.

If MVG does produce the goods as predicted, then the same RequestABet machine has generated  Michael Van Gerwen to win the European Championship, World series finals, Grand Slam & the World Championship at 8/1, in which case, should you fancy it, jump on early.

European Championship, Hasselt, Belgium

Round One (Best of 11 legs and seeds in brackets)

Friday October 28

Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm UK time)

  • Jamie Caven v James Richardson
  • Daryl Gurney v Gerwyn Price
  • Chris Dobey v Joe Cullen
  • Ian White v Terry Jenkins
  • Cristo Reyes v Robert Thornton
  • Mervyn King v Devon Petersen
  • Michael Smith v Stephen Bunting
  • Max Hopp v Benito van de Pas

Evening Session (7pm-11pm UK time)

  • Jelle Klaasen (8) v Steve West
  • Kim Huybrechts (5) v James Wilson
  • Dave Chisnall (6) v Kyle Anderson
  • Mensur Suljovic (2) v Jermaine Wattimena
  • Peter Wright (3) v Justin Pipe
  • Alan Norris (7) v Phil Taylor
  • Michael van Gerwen (1) v Simon Whitlock
  • James Wade (4) v Gary Anderson

Saturday October 29

Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm UK time)

Second Round (Best of 19 legs)

  • Chisnall/K Anderson v Caven/Richardson
  • Suljovic/Wattimena v White/Jenkins
  • Wright/Pipe v Reyes/Thornton
  • Huybrechts/Wilson v King/Petersen

Evening Session (7pm-11pm UK time)

  • Klaasen/West v Smith/Bunting
  • Norris/Taylor v Dobey/Cullen
  • Wade/G Anderson v Hopp/van de Pas
  • van Gerwen/Whitlock v Gurney/Price

Sunday October 30

Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm UK time)

Quarter-Finals (Best of 19 legs)

  • MVG/Whitlock/Gurney/Price v Klaasen/West/Smith/Bunting
  • Huybrechts/Wilson/King/Petersen v Wade/Anderson/Hopp/Van de Pas
  • Suljovic/Wattimena/White/Jenkins v Norris/Taylor/Dobey/Cullen
  • Chisnall/Anderson/Caven/Richardson v Wright/Pipe/Reyes/Thornton

Evening Session (7pm-11pm UK time)

Semi-Finals (Best of 21 legs)

Final (Best of 21 legs)

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