By News Team
5th March 2020
The UK Open returns this weekend and the tournament, dubbed the ‘FA Cup of darts’, looks wide open. The multi-board style that each player will have to get used to is unique, and some take to it better than others.
This year’s Open will be even more special due to Fallon Sherrock and Lisa Ashton. Both will be on the mainstage on Friday afternoon and are sure to get the support from the crowd.
The top 32 players in the world will all enter at the fourth round of the competition and we will be seeing the reigning champion Nathan Aspinall in action alongside previous winners Gary Anderson, Peter Wright, Michael van Gerwen, Adrian Lewis, James Wade and Robert Thornton.
The competition usually throws out its fair share of surprises. Who could forget when a then-unknown 22-year-old Aden Kirk beat multi-time world champion Phil Taylor in 2014? Or even more so, Gary Mawson beating Raymond van Barneveld in the 2008 semi-final? We could see a few giant killings this weekend.
Aspinall to win back-to-back?
Aspinall won last year’s Open with a spectacular victory over former world champion Rob Cross. He’s been on fire recently, winning a pro tour and sitting second in the Premier League table, level on points with Van Gerwen. He’s currently at 14/1 to win the competition outright which is a big price for a player in the form that he’s in.
The 28-year-old from Stockport has not stopped improving since he first hit the PDC scene and could well be one of the most naturally talented players the sport has ever seen. His tendency to hit the ‘big fish’ makes him dangerous on checkouts and is rarely rocked. He’s won the competition before, so he knows what it takes to go all the way. At the long price he is, there is certainly value to be had.
Usual suspects to provide competition
He faces stiff competition from the tournament favourite, Van Gerwen, who is currently priced at 9/4. The Green Machine has also enjoyed a fruitful start to the Premier League, only losing one game and sitting at the top of the table. MVG is yet to win a title in 2020 having come so close to the prize – his biggest shock was losing in a Pro Tour final to Ryan Searle. Van Gerwen will be getting restless at this rate as he’s not playing bad darts. Players seem to be pulling out wonder games when up against him and he’ll be looking to put a stop to this at the weekend.
World Champion Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright is priced at 13/2 to take home the Open title and is continuing his fantastic start to the year. His new darts have been working wonders and he has looked powerful on the oche. His Masters win straight off the back of the World Darts Championship was incredible, but he doesn’t look as dominant in the Premier League. Nothing should be taken away from Wright who can beat anyone on his day but in the ‘FA Cup of darts’, he could be put to the sword on an outer board draw.
The man in form is Gerwyn Price. He’s on fire, on a winning run of 13 consecutive games and unbeaten in the Premier League, which he’ll look to extend on Thursday night against Glen Durrant in the Premier League. He has currently won two ranking titles in 2020 and is in a great run of form. Price can perform anywhere he plays, and an outer board draw is unlikely to hinder his chances during the tournament, so he’ll be a strong candidate to reach the final. The Iceman is currently priced at 13/2 to go all the way.