Gary Anderson goes in as underdog but can upset Phil Taylor at Alexandra Palace
Gary Anderson may well have won 16 World Championships fewer than Phil Taylor, but the Scotsman is in such sensational form that he can start to catch the Power by lifting his first world crown on Sunday.
The Flying Scotsman came into this tournament having won the Players Championship Finals at the end of November and, other than a strange opening game, has shown no sign of that cracking form relenting. He has not dropped below a 102 average since the first round and has dispatched the two men who contested last year’s final along the way.
The criticism often levelled at Anderson is he is shaky on the doubles but his semi-final win over Michael van Gerwen was a near-perfect display of hitting tops and he finished with a double percentage of 50% which is good enough to win most games, especially when you can score as he does.
If Anderson can keep up this sort of finishing throughout the final then there is little anyone can do to stop him, however, if he cannot then Phil Taylor will be ready to pounce.
The Power has been a little underwhelming at times as he was pushed close by the likes of Vincent van der Voort and Kim Huybrechts, but he has still averaged over 100 in every single game. Simply put, we judge him by different standards and a 102 average by him is not appreciated like it is when produced by another player.
This will be Taylor’s 20th world final compared to Anderson’s second so there is no doubt that he has the experience advantage over the Scot. The Power also has the better of the head-to-head record, but not in the most recent past. Anderson knocked Phil out of the Players Championship en route to lifting the trophy and has won three and drawn one of their last six encounters. Gary is certainly not afraid of Taylor and even said before the second semi-final that it is Phil he would rather play in the showpiece.
We can expect three-figure averages from both men but it just seems that Anderson has an extra gear at the moment and he will be able to pounce on the opportunities that Taylor is affording his opponents. It will be tight, it should be a classic, but Anderson can edge it and claim his maiden world title.
Gary Anderson to win @ 5/4