Phil Taylor heads to his beloved Blackpool to defend his BetVictor World Matchplay crown seeking a seventh straight title on a run of 30 games. 
Taylor hasn’t been beaten in the competition since a 17-11 semi-final defeat to Terry Jenkins in 2007. However, world champion Michael Van Gerwen that heads the market as the 2/1 favourite, and The Power  is 7/2. Shouldn’t the great man be favourite?
BetVictor World Matchplay Outright prices: Michael Van Gerwen 2/1, Phil Taylor 7/2, Adrian Lewis 8/1, Gary Anderson, 12/1, James Wade, Raymond Van Barneveld 14/1, Simon Whitlock 16/1; 22s Bar
Both Van Gerwen and local boy Wes Newton hit nine-darters in 2012 and BetVictor are 10/11 each of two for a nine-darter to be hit during this year’s tournament. Although there wasn’t one last year there were four hit in the three year’s previous and with the main protagonists hitting top form, one can expect fireworks.
James Wade returned to form winning the Gibraltar Trophy six weeks ago and with a record second only to The Power. The 2007 champion, and five-time finalist, looks an excellent price at 2/1 to win his quarter and is 16/1 to meet Taylor in the final. Aside from his win in 2007, The Machine has also been a runner-up four times, beaten by the 16-times world champion on each occasion.
With a month to go until the new Premier League season Chelsea that head the market as 7/4 favourites for the title with BetVictor. After manager Jose Mourinho spent the duration of last season comparing his side to a ‘little horse that needs milk and will be primed for the next year’ - who are we to disagree?
Premier League title: Chelsea 7/4, Man City 2/1, Man Utd 11/2 (from 5s), Arsenal 13/2 (from 8s), Liverpool 10/1, 66s Bar
Arsenal have been the best backed team so far and are now 13/2 (from 8s) to be crowned champions for the first time since 2004, likely to go shorter still if the rumours linking World Cup winning midfielder Sami Khedira to the Emirates are accurate. The Gunners have already wrapped up a £35m deal for Alexis Sanchez and the Chilean striker is 12/1 with BetVictor to be named PFA Player of the Year and 16/1 to be the league’s leading marksman.
Arsene Wenger’s side are 8/15 to achieve a top four finish, Manchester United now 1/2 and Liverpool out to 5/6 after the loss of Luis Suarez to Barcelona. BetVictor eased the Reds out to 10/1 for the title despite Brendan Rodgers splashing out £20million of the Suarez transfer on 20-year-old Serbian striker Lazar Markovic – as seen last year at White Hart Lane bedding new recruits often takes time.
Manchester United look set to sign Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal from Juventus, adding to the acquisitions of Luke Show and Ander Herrera to new manager Louis Van Gaal’s squad and they are 11/2 to win the title in the Dutchman’s first year in charge at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal is 7/2 to be LMA Manager of the Year United look an excellent price at 9/4 to be the Premier League’s top North-West Club next season; City 8/13, Liverpool 4s and 40s Bar.
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