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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Gurney and Barney look great value to take Masters crown

Van Gerwen and Cross worth opposing in Milton Keynes

Masters challenger Daryl Gurney
1 of 1

Tournament preview
ITV4, 7pm Friday

The new darts year tends to have an old feel about it, the storyline something along the lines of Michael van Gerwen dotting up in the season-opening Masters before launching his customary assault on all the silverware going.

Twelve months ago Mighty Mike won in Milton Keynes for the third successive year and went on to pick up another 18 titles in a typically stellar campaign. No wonder then that the world number one is odds-on to make it four in a row.

He is certainly hungrier than most for titles though he is also got a high-class new rival in the shape of Rob Cross, the man who toppled the Dutchman at Alexandra Palace en route to being crowned world champion and who arrives at Arena MK a 4-1 shot.

Van Gerwen and Cross have met in three finals since September and it’s 13-8 that they are contesting this one on Sunday.

But in a quality field – minus the recently-retired Phil Taylor – and after a lengthy layoff for the 16 players involved, you could be excused for looking for alternatives to the front two in the betting.

Peter Wright and Gary Anderson are the obvious pair, although Wright had a bad worlds, is recovering from illness and has never gone beyond the quarter-finals at the Masters.

At much bigger prices take chances on Daryl Gurney and Raymond van Barneveld.

Gurney arrived when he won the Grand Prix in October. He went on to reach the European Championship and World Series semi-finals and would have fancied his chances of a good run at the worlds.

An inspired John Henderson ensured Superchin didn’t get past round two, but Gurney is a big talent and a danger to anyone.

The same goes for Barney, who put in a decent show at Ally Pally, battering Richard North, Kyle Anderson and Vincent van der Voort before going down lucklessly to Van Gerwen in a gripping quarter-final.

The big Dutchman has been a Masters finalist before and tends to go well fresh so the break will have done him some good.

Have the bets with bet365, whose each-way terms are half the odds the first two, rather than the majority who offer a third.

D Gurney
1pt each-way 33-1 bet365
R van Barneveld
1pt each-way 33-1 bet365

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The big Dutchman has been a Masters finalist before and tends to go well fresh so the break after the worlds will have done him some good.
E.W. Terms
Sky bet