Only two European Tour events that counted towards qualification were staged this year, but 32 players are set and drawn for this year’s European Darts Championship.

Current World Champion and world number one Gerwyn Price is the top seed for the event, having won both the Hungarian and Gibraltar Darts Trophy.

In this blog, we look at the front runners of the competition, as well as the ones to watch.

The Iceman is the one to beat

Gerwyn Price has been unstoppable on this year’s European Tour. He goes into the event with a 100% record this year and is coming here off the back of a strong runner up performance in the World Grand Prix. He was beaten by Jonny Clayton in that final of that event, but Clayton was unable to qualify for this. Price is well fancied for this, currently the 10/3 market favourite.

This is one of the competitions the Iceman is yet to win, but he came close in 2019 when beaten in the final by Rob Cross. He’s in flying form this year and will begin his tournament against number 32 seed Ritchie Edhouse. You can get him at 1/5 to get off to a winning start and is certainly the one to beat this year.

Snakebite looking to retain title

Peter Wright won this event last year, becoming the first Scottish player to win the title, and will be looking to become the first man to win back-to-back European Darts Championships since Michael van Gerwen won four consecutive titles between 2014 and 2017. Wright has enjoyed a decent year of darts, notably winning the World Matchplay, the World Cup of Darts and four Players’ Championships. The World number two is 4/1 to retain his crown.

However, he crashed out of the World Grand Prix in his opening fixture against Rob Cross, so he’ll be hoping he can bounce back here by beating his opening-round opponent Florien Hempel (1/4).

MVG could become the most successful player in the competition

Michael van Gerwen is currently the join-most successful player in the competition’s history, having won four titles. His name is up there with the greatest darts player in history, Phil Taylor, who also has four European Darts Championships in his trophy cabinet. MVG has had three luckless years since winning this back in 2017 and is still yet to find his true form this campaign.

He won the Nordic Masters in September which was his first title of the year and will be hoping to double that tally here. He’s currently third in the market at 5/1 and is 1/4 to win his opening game against Boris Krcmar.

Ones to watch

An ever-present in the world of darts James Wade, has been at the top end of the spectrum for an incredible amount of time. Still performing at his best, he’s won the UK Open this year and is currently ranked world number four. He has a habit of going far in tournaments this year and could well be in the mix again this week. The Machine has a history in this particular competition, winning the title in 2018 and coming runner up to Peter Wright last year. He’s 22/1 to win his second European Darts Championship.

One of the most impressive players at the World Grand Prix was Ryan Searle (40/1). Beating Dimitri van den Bergh in the opening round and then progressing past Luke Humphries, he just missed out on a semi-final clash appearance when losing to Stephen Bunting. It’s clear that Heavy Metal is on a mission to reach the top and another title could be just around the corner.