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Van Gerwen has “a big problem” with Price says Phil Taylor ahead of the World Championship

Jamie Shaw in World Darts Championship 09 Dec 2019
Taylor shares his thoughts on the upcoming World Championship (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Sixteen-time World Champion Phil Taylor believes Michael van Gerwen will have a “big problem” on his hands with Gerwyn Price at the 2019/20 World Darts Championship.

Van Gerwen is aiming to retain the William Hill World Championship title for the first time and lift the Sid Waddell Trophy for the fourth time in total, but looks to have in-form Price hot on his heels.

The world number one has picked up eight televised titles this season, taking his career tally to over 50, but has seen a fresh challenge to his dominance by the rejuvenated Welshman.

Van Gerwen had gone 19 games without defeat to Price before ‘The Ice Man’ finally stopped the rot en route to retaining the Grand Slam title in November.

Price has appeared in three televised finals since late October, and Taylor believes the 34-year-old presents MVG’s biggest threat in the sport’s show-piece at Alexandra Palace.

“Michael [Van Gerwen] has got a big problem with Gerwyn [Price],” Taylor told Live Darts. “He’s playing superb and is full of confidence.

“He’s fit, young enough still to perform and he’s playing the best darts of his career.

“He does have a little bit of a flaw where he’ll play fantastic for a few legs but then have a few bad ones and miss doubles and that’s the only flaw in his game.

“He’s got the game to win the World Championship and I told him that.

“I told him to get the rest in and get the practice in.

“Gerwyn knows he can do it now, he knows he’s got the game and he’s not frightened of anybody which is good to see.

“It’ll either be him [Price] or Michael [Van Gerwen], I think.”

Taylor, who finished runner-up to Rob Cross in the 2018 final before retiring from professional competition, believes Price has the credentials to become a World Champion despite his below-par record in the competition.

He added: “It’s early days and I’ve seen it before with the amount of players who’ve won a World Championship once, but can he do it? Yes.

“Does he believe? I hope so, because it’d be great to watch.

“I’m not really a watcher of darts now but if he was to get into the final with Michael, I’d watch it.

“But don’t write Rob Cross off or Adrian Lewis – he’s full of confidence now and peaking at the right time.

“He doesn’t look 100 per cent at the minute and he needs to sort himself out that way but I think if he does, he can play a lot better.

“You can’t write anybody off.”

Taylor also revealed he has been practicing with his former rival Raymond van Barneveld in the run-up to the £2.5 million major, which signals Barney’s last competitive appearance before he will follow in ‘The Power’s’ footsteps and call time on his glittering career.

The Stoke maestro says Van Barneveld has looked sharp in practice but admits he is unsure how he will fare on the day.

“It really does all depend which Barney turns up,” added Taylor.

“In practice he’s been great and has had a big smile on his face.

“If he turns up and feels good, he’ll play brilliant, if he doesn’t feel clever he’ll have a miserable face and won’t perform, but I hope he does.”