Gary Anderson has played down his Vegas grudge clash with Gerwyn Price, admitting the Welshman “should win” on current form.
The two fierce rivals face off for the first time since their explosive Grand Slam final last November as they vie for a place in the Semi-Finals of the US Masters at the Mandalay Bay Resort on Friday.
Price came out on top to claim his first major title in controversial fashion as the pair squared up in an ill-tempered affair last time out.
Price was subsequently handed a record total of £21,500 in fines for his conduct during the tournament, while Anderson was given a formal warning for shoving his opponent on the oche.
The box office duo have avoided each other in PDC competition since but will now renew their rivalry in a heavyweight show-down worthy of top Vegas billing.
Anderson, the reigning US Masters champion, is refusing to be drawn into a war of words ahead of the contest and believes Price is the favourite to claim victory.
“On paper he should win with the way he’s playing,” Anderson told Live Darts.
“But if he gets beat by an old-timer who’s not played for a while then he’ll be getting a shock.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m playing some good darts and some absolute trash so I’ve just got to work through it.
“I scraped through my first game, it was the first time I’ve been on stage in a while and I was nervous, my mouth felt dry and I haven’t felt like that for a long, long time.”
Price recovered from a bout of early doubles trouble to close out a 6-4 victory over former UK Open finalist Gary Mawson in Round One and has his sights set on a maiden World Series crown.
The 34-year-old insists he will not tone down his trademark aggressive approach on stage and vows to treat the match like any other.
“I’ll just go up there and play my game no matter what,” Price told Live Darts.
“It’ll be a good game for everyone to watch and I’m sure there will be a lot of people watching.
“I’m just going to go up there, play my own game and do my own thing like I always do.
“I’m not going to go up there and try to perform to Gary or anyone else, I’ve never done that.
“Some people think I do, but I don’t, I just go up there and do my best and if that’s good enough then I’m happy.
“These are the sort of games that people want to see, it’s why people pay their money and it’s what sport is all about.”