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Darts Preview: The Masters 2022


We’re off to Milton Keynes for the Masters as Jonny Clayton attempts to retain his crown from 2021.

The dust has settled on the 2022 World Championship and the darting world heads up the M1 to Milton Keynes and the Masters.

The top 24 from the Order of Merit will duke it out on the Marshall Arena oche at the end of January for one of the real statement trophies of the calendar year.

A win at the Masters can act as the perfect New Year’s resolution for the field involved. 

There are no ‘easy’ games across the five you’ll have to win to scoop the trophy, with Jonny Clayton the main target this season following his impressive 2021 victory.

Contenders

After Michael van Gerwen was removed from the World Championships due to a positive Covid-19 test, you can imagine the Dutchman will arrive at the Masters with a point to prove.

He failed to win a major TV title in 2021 for the first time in a decade but his form was improving at the back end of the year.

“MVG” is a five-time Masters king, scooping the trophy from 2015-2019 and knows how to get over the line in this format.

He’s down to number three in the world, but after a festive period on the practise board we wouldn’t be surprised to see a solid comeback tournament from “Mighty Mike.”

World number 1 Gerwyn Price wasn’t as dominant on the PDC Tour last year as many expected.

The “Iceman” only bagged the World Championship and Grand Slam in 2021 despite reaching six major semi-finals.

Price is always competitive and rarely gets rolled over.

He’ll probably have to walk through Clayton and Smith to reach the final, but on song, there aren’t many players in the world better than the 36-year-old.

Gerwyn Price is 7/2 with bet365 to win the 2022 Masters

Michael van Gerwen is 4/1 with bet365 to win the 2022 Masters

Really disappointed, confused, angry…..the way how my world championship is ending.
Never expected this outcome as I thought I did everything in my possibility to avoid it. Also ain’t got any symptoms.
Closing this year of really quickly.
Fans I’ll be back stronger! ?

— Michael Van Gerwen (@MvG180) December 28, 2021

Pretenders

Gary Anderson has pretty much won it all in darts, but the Masters continues to elude him. 

Understanding the fuel in the belly of the “Flying Scotsman” is the toughest assignment in darts psychology at the moment, with the Scotsman seemingly happy just chugging along without challenging for titles.

Anderson hasn’t picked up a major singles title since 2018, and despite still looking unplayable in rare purple patches, we can’t see him having that mettle to pick up the Masters title.

20/1 is an understandably meaty price for Anderson to win in Milton Keynes.

Gary Anderson is 20/1 with bet365 to win the 2022 Masters

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We've got the perfect cure for post-World Championship blues...more darts!

The draw and schedule of play have been confirmed for the 2022 @Ladbrokes Masters.

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— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) January 7, 2022

Underdogs

Calling the 2022 World Championship runner-up an ‘underdog’ may be a bit of a push, but considering Michael Smith is yet to land a TV major, it’s acceptable. 

Smith was exceptional inside the Ally Pally, bested only by a 15-minute period of darting perfection by Peter Wright in the final.

“Bully Boy” looks like a different animal on the oche and with a bit of luck will surely bag a title in 2022.

9/1 with Paddy Power is big enough to back for the St. Helens man in Milton Keynes.

Joe Cullen had a horrendous, heartbreaking 2021 off the oche, but finished the year with a really positive World Championship outing.

The “Rockstar” is up to number 11 in the Order of Merit and playing some of his most consistent darts in years.

Cullen has to navigate past Daryl Gurney and Gary Anderson to get to a quarter-final where Michael van Gerwen will probably await him – three players that aren’t exactly firing on all cylinders.

At 40/1 with bet365 it’s hard to find a better underdog at the Masters.

Michael Smith is 9/1 with Paddy Power to win the 2022 Masters

Joe Cullen is 40/1 with Paddy Power to win the 2022 Masters

Thanks to @Winmau @ModusDarts180 @MarshallGroup @CelElectrical @FrameSmart @bi_folds @JoeCullenFan180 pic.twitter.com/xY0eWUD3cH

— Joe Cullen (@rockstar_13_) December 29, 2021

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