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Michael van Gerwen vows to exploit Phil Taylor 'weaknesses' in World Matchplay show-down

Van Gerwen defeated Taylor 18-10 in last year's final (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen insists he will seize upon the flaws in Phil Taylor's game when the decorated duo face off in the Quarter-Finals of the 2017 World Matchplay in Blackpool on Friday.

Defending champion Van Gerwen has sailed into the latter stages of the sport's summer show-piece, dropping just seven legs in thrashing Stephen Bunting and Simon Whitlock.

The Dutch sensation, who claimed this title in 2015 and 2016, is bidding to extend his unbeaten run on the Winter Gardens stage to 13 matches and in doing so end Taylor's last ever Matchplay campaign.

Van Gerwen believes he has uncovered a number of chinks in Taylor's armor and is confident he can wipe the floor with the 15-time champion.

"I will be the huge favourite and I'm looking forward to the game," said Van Gerwen.

"I was watching Phil's match against Raymond while I was practicing and I noticed a few weaknesses he has in his game.

"His finishing is not as strong as it used to be so you have to put him under pressure.

"Phil is mentally quite strong and it's hard to get into his head but I've done quite well over the past few years so hopefully I can add another victory onto his mind."

Taylor has won four of the last six competitive meetings between the pair, though it was MVG who pulled off a superb comeback win the last time they met just three weeks ago in the Shanghai Masters.

The world number one dropped just 31 legs in claiming this title 12 months ago but admits he is braced for a tough test from a hungry Taylor.

"No one has put me under pressure so far but I think Phil will do that," added Van Gerwen. 

"If he wants to win this tournament he has to beat me, then possibly Adrian [Lewis] and maybe Peter Wright and that might be too much but he's still looking good and playing well so you can never underestimate him.

"He's done really well in this tournament but so have I over the last three years.

"Phil's a fantastic player, I just need to prepare for him and not think about everything else.

"I still feel fresh and this is where the tournament starts for me.

"There's a lot more in the tank, I will be ready and he knows it."


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Michael van Gerwen vows to exploit Phil Taylor "weaknesses" in World Matchplay show-down

Michael van Gerwen insists he will seize upon the flaws in Phil Taylor's game when the decorated duo face off in the Quarter-Finals of the 2017 World Matchplay in Blackpool on Friday.

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