Van Gerwen is in fine form and has a tremendous record in this tournament
He may no longer be the world champion, but Michael van Gerwen remains the world number one and as he heads into a tournament he loves in tremendous form, it is difficult to see anyone stopping MVG over the course of the Betway Premier League.
It is easy to forget that Van Gerwen has only been in two editions of this tournament previously, but that is how quickly he has gone from fringe contender to the pinnacle of the sport. He won the event in his debut season and then lost in the final to Raymond van Barneveld last year.
MVG took to the Premier League format like a duck to water, topping the table at the end of the regular season in both of the years he has competed. Since his debut in the competition he has won 25 matches; his closest rival in this regard is Barney who has claimed 19 victories which shows the gulf in success.
After relinquishing his world title at Alexandra Palace, some may have questioned how Mighty Mike would recover from the disappointment. Such doubts were answered in fine style at the Masters though, as he romped to a superb victory. MVG ousted Dave Chisnall, Adrian Lewis and Barney en route to lifting the trophy for the first time. His win over Chizzy saw him average 110 whilst the victory in the final over his fellow Dutchman was thanks to a 112.49.
With that win behind him he will head to Leeds for the opening week of Betway Premier League action full of confidence. He also has the bonus of starting the campaign against debutant Kim Huybrechts, who may struggle in his first appearance in the tournament. MvG will get off to a strong start and should power all the way to glory from there.
His nearest rivals in the betting are Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson but both have question marks hanging over them currently. Taylor will need to recover quickly from a first round exit at the Masters, whilst Anderson is dealing with the new-found pressure of being world champion, something that could weigh heavily on him over the 16 weeks. Van Gerwen has no such worries and should be backed to reclaim the Betway Premier League title, which he only narrowly lost last year.
5/2 – Michael van Gerwen to win the Betway Premier League