The World Series of Darts Finals starts on Friday as some of the best players in the world go head-to-head.

The tournament includes eight seeded players – the world’s top eight – 12 invitationals and four qualifiers. Headlining the invitations are this year’s World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van den Bergh and Queen of Alexandra Palace Fallon Sherrock. The four qualifiers, meanwhile, are Joe Cullen, Steve Beaton, Vincent van der Voort and Harry Ward.

The 24-player event is set to be staged at the Salzburgarena in Austria, with the first round taking place on Friday and the eight seeded players entering in Saturday’s second round against Friday’s winners.

MVG back to winning ways

Michael van Gerwen has had a year to forget in many ways. He’s struggled in multiple big tournaments and despite going into almost every major competition as the favourite, he has not been getting the results he will have wanted or knows he’s capable of. That said, he silenced a few critics at the latest PDC Autumn Series when he beat Mensur Suljovic in the final.

Van Gerwen is entering the World Series of Darts Finals as the reigning champion, number one seed as well as the 9/4 favourite, and winning this event could set him back into his normal rhythm. As usual, you can never look past MVG and he’ll be facing the winner of Glen Durrant and Van den Bergh when he enters in round two.

This should be one of the matches of the tournament as Van Gerwen will have to beat the current Premier League leader or the reigning World Matchplay champion – no easy feat. Either will be a tough test but if Van Gerwen is to progress here, he’d have knocked out a serious contender and would fancy his chances of going all the way.

Wright to be alright on the night?

Reigning world champion Peter Wright is having a tremendous year in the PDC. Having won multiple ranking titles in 2020, Wright should be in good shape to go far into the World Series of Darts Finals tournament this weekend. ‘Snakebite’ is the 7/2 second favourite for glory behind Van Gerwen.

When Wright enters on Saturday in the second round he will be up against either Ian White or Damon Heta. White has made his name as a floor demon and always poses a stiff challenge to his competitors and should progress past Heta to book a clash with Wright.

If world champion Wright is on his game and can avoid his usual tricks of switching darts and taking his glasses on and off, he could be right in the mix to advance deep into the competition.

Price to keep up fine form?

Gerwyn Price comes into the World Series of Darts Finals in some very decent form, having just topped the Autumn Series Order of Merit this week after claiming a second title in two days at the event, seeing off both Devon Petersen and Krzysztof Ratajski to claim back-to-back glory. Following that success, Price has now extended his unbeaten run to 13 matches.

As a seeded player this weekend, he’ll enter in round two on Saturday in what looks like a favourable draw for ‘the Iceman’ – Price will be facing the winner of Cullen and Van der Voort. It will be interesting to see how Price takes to the stage following his recent run of form and whether he can repeat this in Austria. He’s the third favourite to go all the way and claim the title at odds of 11/2.

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