The £450,000 bwin Grand Slam of Darts began on Saturday November 10 and runs to Sunday November 18 at the Aldersley Leisure Village, Wolverhampton, as the normal venue, the Wolverhampton Civic Hall, is currently undergoing a two-year renovation.
The tournament sees 32 players from the PDC and BDO organizations face-off in this tournament for the newly titled Eric Bristow Trophy.
Michael van Gerwen is the reigning champion. He won the tournament last year by beating Peter “Snakebite” Wright 16-12 in the final to win the tournament for a third-successive year.
It may be a difficult task to stop Michael van Gerwen winning this tournament for a fourth year running, but he is not playing on top form at the minute and has already been beaten (5-4) by Johnny Clayton in the Group stages, albeit in a cracking game from both players.
There are value alternatives for me with some players in top-form still available at some tasty prices in the outright market, including James Wade, who has won the last two televised tournaments in recent weeks.
My three each-way selections are Michael Smith (20/1), James Wade (14/1) and Dimitri van den Bergh (35/1)
*Prices correct as of 18:00 13/11/18*
The entire tournament is being shown live on Sky Sports.
Here are the Wednesday November 14th (Best of 19 Legs) match predictions:
- (7:15pm) Stephen Bunting v Dimitri van den Bergh
Prediction – Dimitri van den Bergh – The World Youth champion “Dream Maker” has been coming into form in recent weeks and is fancied to get the better of “The Bullet” Stephen Bunting in this second round match.
- (8:15pm) Gerwyn Price v Josh Payne
Prediction – Gerwyn Price – The “Ice Man” Gerwyn Price is playing quite brilliantly at present as he showed by beating double BDO World Champion Glen Durrant in the group stages, banging in seven maximum 180’s in the process and he is strongly fancied to beat last year’s World Youth championship runner-up Josh Payne in this match.
- (9:15pm) Rob Cross v Mensur Suljovic
Prediction – Rob Cross – Both players are coming into this match with a dip in their form so it’s a big game for both men. World Champion “Voltage” Rob Cross is showing the better form with three wins from his three group games, whilst “The Gentle” Mensur Suljovic has somehow managed to make round two despite one win and two losses in the group stages, so it’s a strongly fancied win for Rob Cross for me.
- (10pm) Peter Wright v Simon Whitlock
Prediction – Simon Whitlock – “The Wizard” Simon Whitlock lost his opening group game 5-1 to double BDO World Champion Glen Durrant before wins over Andrew Gilding and an in-form Gerwyn Price (where he hit not one but two maximum 170 checkouts) and despite Peter Wright winning all three of his group games, I’m going for a Simon Whitlock win in this match.