Gary Anderson says Michael van Gerwen 'is there for the beating'

Gary Anderson has issued a challenge to the rest of the World Matchplay field, saying Michael van Gerwen is ‘there for the beating’ in Blackpool.

World number one and tournament favourite, Van Gerwen, is into the second round after a victory over Steve Beaton, but his form has been a long way from its best of late.

MVG did not win any of the five tournaments he entered immediately prior to the Matchplay and only mustered an average of 93 in his win over the Bronzed Adonis on the Blackpool stage.

The three-time world champion looks as vulnerable as he has done for years, and Anderson believes that any of the contenders can get the better of him on their day.

‘It’s quite easy, I’m just totally rubbish now, I don’t know what Michael’s doing,’ when asked by Live Darts about the landscape at the top of the sport.

‘He’s there for the beating, if we ever came to darts thinking “Michael’s going to win everything” we wouldn’t play.

‘Michael’s there to be beaten, he always has been. If you play well, put him under pressure then you’re going to beat him.

‘That’s what he does to people, if you do it back to him, then we’ll see what happens.’

Van Gerwen has a tough task on his hands in the second round against Glen Durrant, who averaged over 101 on his World Matchplay debut on Sunday, walloping Adrian Lewis 10-4.

Meanwhile, Anderson takes on veteran Mervyn King who caused something of a shock in round one as he beat UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall 10-5.

Anderson is still finding his way back to top form after back and elbow injuries, but is looking forward to taking on the King on the Blackpool stage after a below-par, but comfortable 10-6 win over Danny Noppert in round one.

‘I think it’s just getting back into it, I need to get back up there and throw how I used to throw,’ continued the defending champion.

‘Yeah it’s been a while since I played Merv, we all thought young Nathan, the way he’s been playing the last few months, was a shoe-in

‘Merv’s been round the block more than a dozen times, he knows what he’s doing, he knows the game backwards, I’m looking forward to it.

‘Never write off the old dogs, not yet anyway.’

Anderson plays King on Tuesday night at the Winter Gardens.

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