Grand Prix Final preview
Tonight all eyes will be focused on Dublin as the world number one takes on the current world champion, in a final that couldn’t have been scripted better. Van Gerwen will go off as favourite but there’s not much between them, with them both having won one of the last two meetings and a well fought draw in the Premier League.
Overall van Gerwen leads by eight in the head to head, 21 to 13 but Anderson leads 4-3 in showdowns in finals, add to this, a first meeting in a Grand Prix final, throw in a double start and it is all set up to be quite a match.
Both players have a quick throw which should add to the atmosphere, with Anderson able to slow the game a bit more if needed, van Gerwen tending to keep at his own pace and battle through with his own game. The double start should not be too much of a problem, once a much documented weakness in Andersons’ game has now been overcome but with the pressures of a final, anyone can struggle as this week has proven on numerous occasions.
The crowd seem pretty equal when it comes to support, so it won’t turn into a case of having to silence the crowd for one player, again adding to the intensity and atmosphere. Nerves shouldn’t play too much of a role for the current and former world champion and top two earners this calendar year.
The Dublin statistics offer no real advantage, Anderson, only dropping three sets, against van Gerwen’s four. Average wise, 98.89, Anderson managed in the semi over van Barneveld whereas van Gerwen notched 99.37 on his way to defeating Dave Chisnall. Double start favoured Anderson, double out van Gerwen. Maximums sees the Dutchman ahead by one, 6 to 5, with both hitting semi final ton plus out shots.
Playing styles sees van Gerwen with a more aggressive approach but it can be prone to breaking down with the odd twitch or flick of the shoulder when unsettled. Rapid scoring and speed of thought are key to van Gerwen and he’s definitely a momentum player, who once in his stride is hard to hold back. When stopped though, he’ll give a few legs away and this, his opponent must capitalise on.
Anderson is the old fashioned steady player, often telling the media himself he likes no nonsense. Struggles sometimes with himself, shaking his head and talking to himself when things aren’t going to plan during his throw. Has had some problematic under throwing of darts at times but tends to turn things around quickly. Portrays a laissez faire attitude but still one of the great battlers within the sport.
It would be difficult to pick a winner with much conviction but will the bookies be right, will it be van Gerwens crown? At 1/3 and Anderson at 12/5 they seem to think so.
Enjoy the final.
|Anderson v van Gerwen head to head|