The excitement and drama of another Premier League of Darts came to a conclusion as Michael Van Gerwen scooped his third Premier League crown. The Dutchman's form has resulted in his Country being chalked up as the favourites for the upcoming World Cup of Darts but can they triumph in the 7th staging of the tournament?
Eissporthalle in Frankfurt is the venue for this year's World Cup of Darts where England are set to defend their title. Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor were triumphant in the 2016 final squeezing past the Netherlands in a pulsating final but the bookmakers believe the tables could be turned this time around.
The tournament is set to see another showdown between some of the world's greatest darts players with the Netherlands listed as favourites at Evens (1/1) in the latest odds from Bet365
32 nations will compete for the prize with a couple of debutantes added this year. Brazil and Latvia will enter their two-player teams into the tournament and are set to do battle against a number of previous finalists including Wales and Belgium.
Diogo Portela became the first South American to compete on the PDC Circuit and he will be tasked with leading the Brazilian side in their maiden appearance. The 28 year old has already tasted success in Germany this season. Meanwhile, Latvia will be captained by former BDO player Madars Razma.
Other competing nations include Hong Kong, Gibraltar and Singapore.
Michael Van Gerwen produced a heroic comeback in London to wrap up yet another Premier League title and will once again team up with Raymond Van Barneveld at the beginning of June. 'Barney' has been solid if unspectacular this season, finishing 6th in the Premier League of Darts table but it's his fellow countryman who could make all the difference.
Revenge will undoubtedly be on the cards if they are drawn against England in the final stages of the tournament although Scotland could be their biggest danger. Gary Anderson and Peter Wright are an extremely potent combination and are currently listed as second favourites for the title. The latter had Van Gerwen on the ropes for much of the Premier League final before a couple of costly errors handed the Dutchman a way back.
Wright missed the tournament last year and was replaced by the lower ranked Robert Thornton. His return could be a significant one.
This year Dave Chisnell will replace Phil Taylor and he will team up with Adrian Lewis. Taylor is in his retirement year and Dave Chisnell is now the higher ranked England Player in the PDC order of merit. Dave fort back hard in the Premier League of Darts to finish in fifth place so he will be a strong partner for Adrian. However Adrian Lewis had a tougher time in the Premier League finishing only one place above relegated pair Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts in the Premier League table.
It will be an engrossing three days packed full of excitement and drama once again but Scotland and the Netherlands appear to have the strongest hands going into the contest. Don't be surprised if Wright and Anderson frighten the favourites in Frankfurt.
* England won the title on the sudden death doubles leg.