Taylor goes for 5th European Championship Title

The £200k European Championship begins on Thursday 20th September with a field consisting the top 16 in the PDC Order of Merit, 8 Pro Tour OoM qualifiers and 8 European OoM qualifiers.

European ChampionshipFollowing the August PDC shut down, there have been three tournaments to settle the players back in – the German Darts Masters and two Pro Tour events in Barnsley last weekend.

Now we are back on the Major trail with the 5th European Championship at the RWE Sporthalle in Mülheim, Germany.

Adrian Lewis (conspicuous by his absence in Barnsley) is second favourite going into the European Championship at 6/1, fresh off the back of a victory  in the German Darts Masters, a hybrid competition consisting of stage and audience but no TV cameras.

At Glaspalast in Sindelfingen, Lewis beat Wade in the semi-final, to set up an encounter with  Ian White in the ultimate game.

White’s semi-final opponent was Raymond van Barneveld, and in the quarter final he faced Robert Thornton who had earlier whitewashed Wes Newton with a 107 average.

However the Thorn had peaked too soon as White edged a close game 6-5 en route to the all Stoke final. The Diamond couldn’t outshine the World Champion on this occasion though, as Jackpot took a 6-3 victory and the £10k first prize.

The European Championship will see a return of this fixture in the first round, with one man assured of an early exit.

Having competed in Barnsley at the weekend, White brings consecutive runner-up places to the table, the winner of this match could go deep in the tournament, swerving Phil Taylor until the final.

Taylor, the winner of all four European Championship crowns since its 2008 inception, will commence his defense against Sweden’s Magnus Caris. The Poker Faced 500/1 shot has never beaten The Power since they first met three decades ago in 1992!

Caris may also be haunted by his last solo TV performance at the World Championship where he threw away a straight sets win over Steve Beaton. It is unlikely that Caris can notch up a maiden win in Germany, although in a race to 6 anything can happen.

Taylor’s route through this year’s European Championship could go something like Caris, Suljovic, Webster, with The Spider being somebody who knows what it takes to put Taylor out of a tournament (2011 Worlds).

Recent form suggests that should both players progress to a meeting (Webster has his own first round banana skin, Andree Welge, to negotiate) then the 15 times World Champion will be the one to move into the semis.

With just eight seeded players the draw has thrown up some tasty looking first round games.

Kevin Painter takes on Mervyn King, Barney has an awkward opponent in Terry Jenkins, and James Wade takes on Colin Lloyd in a repeat of their UK Open meeting in June.

So big names will be first round casualties, making for an exciting tournament.

Elsewhere Paul Nicholson may struggle to get past Andy Hamilton, although Nicholson has an enviable 5-0 head to head record. The senior player’s career over the last 18 months has seen a resurgence elevating him into the world top 10.

The Hammer also goes to Germany on the back of a runner up spot in the Players Championship in Barnsley. A first round exit for The Asset would further stifle his big time progress, he is supposed to be letting his darts do the talking, but in 2012 to date, they appear somewhat mute and not helped by a shoulder injury.

Michael van Gerwen could be the suprise package of this tournament. In Barnsley he threw some unstoppable darts on the Saturday, stamping his authority in the event with a fine 6-1 victory over Ian White to take the £6k final, he then backed up the performance on Sunday with a semi-final place. At 25/1 he looks a good each way punt.

Firstly he is in the opposite half of the draw to Taylor, which is a good start, secondly we have to consider recent form, and thirdly things looked to be clicking in place for him last time on our screens, with a run to the quarters in the World Matchplay and the 9 darter.

This half of the draw though looks very competitive, with Wade, Lewis, Barney, Jenkins, Whitlock and several other players all capable of lifting the trophy.

MvG begins his European Championship campaign against Andy Smith and currently the Dutchman holds the upper hand over the Pieman with three victories from their previous four matches.

Simon Whitlock broke his two year ranking title drought with victory in Sunday’s Players Championship. Could this be the catalyst for more from the Aussie Wizard?

The first hurdle is Mark Walsh, a seasoned professional but he will need to produce some special darts to stop Whitlock‘s progress despite winning four of their last six meetings.

In summary there is plenty to look forward to over four days of European Championship darts as the stellar names line up with some less familiar faces from the European qualifiers. 

Young Gino Vos knows his way around the oche but faces a tough opener against Dave Chisnall, as does Thomas Seyler who takes on fourth seed Wes Newton.

Co Stompe qualified through the European Order of Merit and will tackle fiery Welshman, Richie Burnett in round one.

The Germans seem to be lapping up Pro Darts at the moment and the PDC are obviously concentrating their efforts into this market. Let’s see if the German European Championship crowd can show the UK how to behave!

Will anyone join the nine dart club in Mülheim? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Will we see a new name on the European Championship trophy? Taylor is unlikely to give up his stranglehold on this tournament just yet.

Beat The Tipster!

Don’t forget there is still time to enter our European Championship Beat The Tipster competition. All you have to do is predict the outcome of all the matches in Germany and should you beat our Tipster you will be in with a chance of winning some great prizes courtesy of Unicorn – The Big Name in Darts. The Tipster’s first round predictions are below so get your thinking cap on and perhaps take a cue from our preview above.

Phil Taylor (1) v Magnus Caris  6-1 see head 2 head
Jerry Hendriks v Mensur Suljovic  5-6 see head 2 head
Mark Webster (8) v Andree Welge  6-4 see head 2 head
Justin Pipe v Brendan Dolan  6-3 see head 2 head
Andy Hamilton (5) v Paul Nicholson  6-5 see head 2 head
Ronnie Baxter v Michael Rosenauer  6-2 see head 2 head
Wes Newton (4) v Tomas Seyler  6-3 see head 2 head
Mervyn King v Kevin Painter  5-6 see head 2 head
Adrian Lewis (2) v Ian White  6-3 see head 2 head
Kim Huybrechts v Vincent van der Voort  6-4 see head 2 head
Terry Jenkins (7) v Raymond van Barneveld  5-6 see head 2 head
Michael van Gerwen v Andy Smith  6-3 see head 2 head
Simon Whitlock (6) v Mark Walsh  6-2 see head 2 head
Dave Chisnall v Gino Vos  6-3 see head 2 head
James Wade (3) v Colin Lloyd  6-5 see head 2 head
Richie Burnett v Co Stompe  6-3 see head 2 head



European Championship Draw | European Championship Schedule | Beat The Tipster |  European Championship 2011 Results | European Championship Role of Honour

Outright Odds at PaddyPower (Correct 18/09/12)

Phil Taylor evens
Terry Jenkins 45/1
Mark Walsh 100/1
Adrian Lewis 7/1
Kim Huybrechts 45/1
Richie Burnett 100/1
James Wade 10/1
Paul Nicholson 50/1
Brendan Dolan 150/1
Raymond van Barneveld 16/1
Mark Webster 50/1
Mensur Suljovic 250/1
Simon Whitlock 16/1
Kevin Painter 50/1
Andree Welge 500/1
Dave Chisnall 20/1
Ronnie Baxter 66/1
Michael Rosenauer 500/1
Wes Newton 20/1
Ian White 80/1
Gino Vos 500/1
Justin Pipe 22/1
Vincent van der Voort 80/1
Tomas Seyler 500/1
Andy Hamilton 25/1
Andy Smith 100/1
Magnus Caris 500/1
Michael van Gerwen 25/1
Colin Lloyd 100/1
Jerry Hendriks 500/1
Mervyn King 33/1
Co Stompe 100/1
Each Way Terms 1/2 places 1,2

PartyPoker.net European Championship Qualifiers
Top 16 from PDC Order of Merit
1 Phil Taylor (England)
2 Adrian Lewis (England)

3 James Wade (England)
4 Wes Newton (England)
5 Andy Hamilton (England)
6 Simon Whitlock (Australia)
7 Terry Jenkins (England)
8 Mark Webster (Wales)
9 Raymond van Barneveld (Netherlands)
10 Justin Pipe (England)
11 Kevin Painter (England)
12 Dave Chisnall (England)
13 Ronnie Baxter (England)
14 Mark Walsh (England)
15 Paul Nicholson (Australia)
16 Vincent van der Voort (Netherlands)

ProTour Order of Merit Qualifiers

Ian White (England)
Kim Huybrechts (Belgium)
Michael van Gerwen (Netherlands)
Colin Lloyd (England)
Richie Burnett (Wales)
Brendan Dolan (Northern Ireland)
Andy Smith (England)
Mervyn King (England)

European Order of Merit Qualifiers

Magnus Caris (Sweden)
Co Stompe (Netherlands)
Gino Vos (Netherlands)
Jerry Hendriks (Netherlands)
Mensur Suljovic (Austria)
Andree Welge (Germany)
Michael Rosenauer (Germany)
Tomas Seyler (Germany)

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