Grand Slam of Darts preview and predictions: Can anyone steal Gerwyn Price’s crown?

Gerwyn Price and the Grand Slam of Darts have become a prosperous combination, and the Welshman returns to his successful stomping ground on Monday.

Price, the current world number three, has come on leaps and bounds since his lifting maiden major accolade in an ill-tempered final against Gary Anderson two years ago.

‘The Iceman’ now attempts to become the third thrower to secure a Grand Slam hat-trick, and emulate darting doyens Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen in the process.

World number one Van Gerwen and reigning world champion Peter Wright will be amongst those vying to stop the Welshman in his tracks throughout the week in Coventry.

Ahead of the prestigious tournament commencing at the Ricoh Arena, Ben Hudd previews each quarter of the draw and provides his predictions.

QUARTER ONE

Group A
(1) Michael van Gerwen
Joe Cullen
Gabriel Clemens
Adam Hunt

Group B
(8) Gary Anderson
Simon Whitlock
Ryan Searle
Adam Gawlas

You’d have thought two groups containing two multiple-time world champions would be relatively straightforward in deciding the eventual victors, though, Van Gerwen is undergoing one of the most turbulent times of his career and Gary Anderson is experiencing injury woes.

Joe Cullen scooped his fifth ranking title on Saturday and Germany’s Gabriel Clemens registered some astronomical numbers during the PDC Winter Series, despite his wait for a maiden crown continuing.

Both players have the capability of pipping the world number one to a place in the knockout rounds, while the up-and-coming Adam Hunt could also prove a decisive figure on his Grand Slam debut.

Cullen and Clemens are arguably in a better vein of form than Van Gerwen, with a similar statement being said for Ryan Searle and Simon Whitlock in Group B.

Anderson withdrew from four of the five Winter Series events due to knee problems, and Whitlock and Searle both impressed in spite of not managing particularly deep runs in Coventry.

Whitlock has gained a couple of notable scalps in recent months in front of the television cameras, while Players Championship Three winner Searle tends to perform reasonably well when receiving his opportunity on the big stage.

Czech youngster Adam Gawlas also warrants a deserved mention after qualifying by virtue of reaching last year’s World Youth Championship final, but his three opponents are significantly more experienced.

Prediction: Cullen, Clemens, Anderson, Whitlock come through their respective groups; Whitlock beats Cullen in the quarter-finals

QUARTER TWO

Group C
(4) Michael Smith
Krzysztof Ratajski
Jose de Sousa
Lisa Ashton

Group D
(5) Rob Cross
Dave Chisnall
Luke Humphries
Justin Pipe

Imagine being in the shoes of four-time women’s world champion Lisa Ashton ahead of her second Grand Slam of Darts campaign, having to face three multiple-time ranking event winners in a stacked Group C.

It’s an extremely tough ask for Ashton, though, all four esteemed players have a strenuous task on there hands in coming through a quartet which has been dubbed ‘the group of death’, and quite rightfully so.

Michael Smith, Jose de Sousa and Krzysztof Ratajski all reached finals during the recent Winter Series, with the trio posting some remarkable averages across the five days, sometimes in excess of the 110 mark.

De Sousa is due a deep run in front of the television cameras (Photo: Jonas Hunold/PDC Europe)

Both Ratajski and De Sousa somewhat lack experience when it comes to longer format matches in the latter hurdles of the tournament, but best-of-nine legs in the group stages might play into their hands.

Group D, meanwhile, could prove rather interesting, with the seeded Rob Cross struggling for form and his three opponents being overly unpredictable.

Chisnall produced glimpses of brilliance during the past week in Coventry, most notably a spellbinding 121.7 average, while Humphries may prove a force to be reckoned with if he can recollect his World Championship form.

Prediction: Smith, De Sousa, Chisnall and Humphries come through their respective groups; De Sousa beats Smith in the quarter-finals

QUARTER THREE

Group E
(2) Peter Wright
Ian White
Devon Petersen
Dirk van Duijvenbode

Group F
(7) James Wade
Glen Durrant
Jermaine Wattimena
Damon Heta

Match sharpness is crucial in any sport, and world champion Wright certainly has that in abundance right now despite missing recent European Tour events in Germany due to travel concerns.

Fresh from winning his sixth title of the season during the Winter Series and lifting the European Championship for the first time, ‘Snakebite’ will have aspirations of sealing his maiden Slam after finishing runner-up on two occasions and exceeding the £1m mark on the PDC Order of Merit.

His group contains a number of banana skins in three major semi-finals, with Petersen arguably the closest challenger despite his blistering form seeming to fade away slightly during the Winter Series where he recorded just four wins.

Dutchman Dirk van Duijvenbode was rather impressive in Coventry, weeks after reaching his maiden televised final, while Ian White’s will prove a tricky customer despite being less consistent since the four-month shutdown.

Meanwhile, the other group in the third quarter of the draw sees four stablemates and players who have reached finals on the circuit this year lock horns in probably the closest matched group on paper.

Damon Heta is one of the in-form and firing players heading into his Grand Slam debut after impressing at both the World Cup of Darts and Winter Series, much like Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena who was a beaten finalist on Tuesday.

Heta has made huge strides since winning his PDC Tour Card in January (Photo: Taylor Lanning)

The opposite can be said for newly-crowned Premier League champion Glen Durrant and somewhat James Wade also, with neither of them surpassing the third round at the Winter Series.

Australian Heta has been persistently clocking averages over the 100 mark at the Ricoh Arena over the six days, which will likely prove enough to see him through, while a three-way battle for second may be on the cards.

Prediction: Wright, Van Duijvenbode, Heta and Wade come through their respective groups; Wright beats Heta in the quarter-finals

QUARTER FOUR

Group G
(3) Gerwyn Price
Jonny Clayton
Ryan Joyce
Mikuru Suzuki

Group H
(6) Nathan Aspinall
Dimitri Van den Bergh
Ricky Evans
Wayne Warren

As previously mentioned, Price’s love affair with the Grand Slam has been admirable over the past couple of years, and the Welshman will be hoping his fond memories will guide him over the line once again.

Two-time champion Price and world number two Wright are on a collision course to meet in what will be a mouth-watering semi-final, though, both have noteworthy challenges in the groups stages of the competition.

His recent World Cup of Darts-winning teammate Jonny Clayton is at the forefront of that. The Welshman has been producing some sensational stuff in recent weeks, including a run to the last four of the European Championship.

Ryan Joyce, a winner on the professional circuit in a few months ago, could have a say in who progresses through the group, days after averaging over 106 in beating Price during the Winter Series.

Two-time women’s world champion Mikuru Suzuki meets Price for the second successive year at the Slam, but her lack of match practice could mean she is slightly under prepared in a rather tough group.

Her fellow reigning BDO world champion Wayne Warren features in Group Eight alongside three players who often produce varying standards in World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, Nathan Aspinall and Ricky Evans.

Sixth seed Aspinall and Van den Bergh are rightfully the favourites to prevail, but Welshman Warren and the flamboyant Evans could happen to be hazardous for the two of them.

Prediction: Price, Clayton, Aspinall and Van den Bergh come through their respective groups; Price beats Clayton in the quarter-finals

Overall outcome prediction: Wright beats De Sousa in the final

2020 GRAND SLAM OF DARTS


Monday November 16
Afternoon Session (7pm GMT)

8x Group matches
Rob Cross v Justin Pipe (D)
Dave Chisnall v Luke Humphries (D)
James Wade v Damon Heta (F)
Simon Whitlock v Ryan Searle (B)
Glen Durrant v Jermaine Wattimena (F)
Nathan Aspinall v Wayne Warren (H)
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Ricky Evans (H)
Gary Anderson v Adam Gawlas (B)

Evening Session (7pm GMT)
8x Group matches
Jonny Clayton v Ryan Joyce (G)
Joe Cullen v Gabriel Clemens (A)
Krzysztof Ratajski v Jose De Sousa (C)
Michael Smith v Lisa Ashton (C)
Michael van Gerwen v Adam Hunt (A)
Gerwyn Price v Mikuru Suzuki (G)
Peter Wright v Dirk van Duijvenbode (E)
Ian White v Devon Petersen (E)

Tuesday November 17
Afternoon Session (1pm GMT)

8x Group matches

Evening Session (7pm GMT)
8x Group matches

Wednesday November 18 (3pm GMT)
8x Group matches

Thursday November 19 (7pm GMT)
8x Group matches

Friday November 20 (7pm GMT)
4x Last 16 matches

Saturday November 21 (7pm GMT)
4x Last 16 matches

Sunday November 22
Afternoon Session (1pm GMT)

2x Quarter-Finals

Evening Session (7pm GMT)
2x Quarter-Finals

Monday November 23 (7pm GMT)
2x Semi-Finals

Tuesday November 24 (6pm GMT)
Final


(Featured Image: Chris Sargeant/Tip Top Pics)

About The Author

Ben Hudd Ben is a dedicated sports writer and aspiring sports journalist, covering all aspects of darts for the ever-growing Darts Planet TV. He has a passion for sport, particularly darts, cricket and football.

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