The PDC Order of Merit, bookies and fans all see Michael van Gerwen as the World Championship favourite.

It’s not surprising at all that van Gerwen himself agrees. The world number one will be gunning for a third PDC world title at the Alexandra Palace in December. He believes that of the 96-strong field for the World Championship, only one has the game to stop him in his tracks.

“Everyone knows when I am at one hundred per cent only one person can challenge me and that is Gary Anderson,” Mighty Mike told the Irish Times.

“They all need to play their best to beat me and they know that, that’s nothing new.

“This World Championship is a big one for me, I need to make sure I am ready for it.

“It is the most important time of the year and I am looking forward to it.”

Van Gerwen has not been in hot form in majors since sweeping to Masters and Premier League glory at the start of 2018. Anderson took the UK Open and World Matchplay crowns. The likes of James Wade and Gerwyn Price have also claimed major glory since. Van Gerwen, meanwhile, has seen his hopes dashed by Jeffrey de Zwaan and Steve West among others. Most recently, Daryl Gurney pipped the Dutchman to the Players Championship Finals title.

“The last two months have not been what I have wanted them to be but I still have had good results and am playing well, so I need to make sure the last few percentage is going to get better, with a bit more preparation I will be ready for it,” van Gerwen admitted.

“I need to do one or two things to improve the things I was not 100 per cent good at. There is more in the tank for me.”

The 29-year-old is level with Anderson and Adrian Lewis on two PDC world titles. But he does not buy into the idea that he needs a third title to silence the critics.

“People always say you get judged on (the) World Championship,” he said.

“It’s not only the World Championship, I have won over 150 PDC ranking events and it’s everything combined.

“With all due respect Adrian Lewis has won two world championships as well, but for the rest of his talent he hasn’t won enough.”

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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Author: Edward McCosh