The Darts World Championship gets under way this Friday at the Alexandra Palace in London.
The early favourite with the bookmakers to take the crown is Phil ‘ The Power’ Taylor. The 15 time champion has shown the class before to win the title and he has had another excellent year.
He is also possibly the only player who could win the tournament even when he isn’t playing his best. The world number one will be the one to beat again in the capital.
However, it would be foolish to discount defending champion Adrian Lewis. He hasn’t had the best year since wining the tournament last time around, but the world number two did successfully defend the World Darts Championship last year in very similar circumstances.
He hadn’t had the best year then but produced some of his best form to defend the title. This will give Lewis hope of retaining the title again and suggests he can’t be written off.
Many peoples outside favourite going into the event is rising Dutch star Michael van Gerwen. Currently ranked number seven in the world, van Gerwen is a very exciting prospect.
An exceptional 2012 saw him claim the World Grand Prix title in Dublin, meaning that he is currently second favourite going into the World Darts Championship with some of the leading bookmakers.
The 23 year old Dutchman has won a major title already which gives him the experience and this could be a big factor in him being able to win in London.
The other big name player battling it our for the crown is Raymond van Barneveld. He won the Grand Slam of Darts this year and will be hoping to back that up by winning the big one.
However 2007 was the last time he claimed this title and there are currently better players that him on the darts circuit. He is an outsider going into the competition but he cannot be ruled out due to his experience and the pedigree which has seen his claim five World Championships.
Other players who are outsiders but could be possible contenders include Simon Whitlock, Gary Anderson and James Wade.
You can keep up to date with all the action from the tournament live at http://www.modusdarts.tv with sports journalist and Darts expert Chris Murphy guiding you through the tournament and at http://www.pdc.tv