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Mardle’s Grand Slam of Darts predictions

Wayne Mardle takes us through who he thinks can rise to the top at this year’s Grand Slam of Darts with all the big names back in action along with Fallon Sherrock and Lisa Ashton; Will Jose de Sousa hang on to his crown at the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton?

Last Updated: 12/11/21 3:38pm




Wayne Mardle runs the rule on this year’s Grand Slam of Darts

All eyes turn to the highly-anticipated Grand Slam of Darts at Wolverhampton’s Aldersley Leisure Village. There are many questions, so who better to ask them to than our very own Wayne ‘Hawaii 501’ Mardle.

Jose de Sousa will be defending his crown in Wolverhampton from November 13-21 and you can watch all the action live on Sky Sports.

It certainly won’t be an easy ride if ‘The Special One’ is to retain his title, however, with a stacked field also chasing The Eric Bristow Trophy.

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Jose de Sousa described winning the Grand Slam of Darts as ‘a dream come true’ after beating James Wade 16-12 in last year’s final
Jose de Sousa described winning the Grand Slam of Darts as ‘a dream come true’ after beating James Wade 16-12 in last year’s final

So, without further ado, here’s our man Wayne Mardle to talk us through what to expect over the next nine days of tungsten action.

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De Sousa provided us with one of the moments of the season with three darts at tops for a jaw-dropping 120 checkout in the Premier League
De Sousa provided us with one of the moments of the season with three darts at tops for a jaw-dropping 120 checkout in the Premier League

Will the standard be better than ever?

Rusty-Jake Rodriguez can mix it with the very best in world darts

“Rusty-Jake Rodriguez has had a couple of 110 averages recently and you’re talking about a format in the groups which is the best-of-nine legs. Every single player in this event can play to a hundred average over nine legs. It’s absolute fact. It must be daunting for the established/seeded players.

“I think they’re all tough groups. Boris Krcmar and Jim Williams can live with the best of them, but there are those who will like their groups.”

And this year’s Group of Death is?

Gary Anderson has never failed to get out the group stage at the Grand Slam of Darts

“The group that I think will be so dodgy is Gary Anderson’s with Michael Smith, Raymond van Barneveld and Joe Davis. Anderson has never failed to get out of his group and this will be his 15th year. He’s played every single year but he could fail to get out of this group.

“Whilst I expect Joe to possibly get beat more often than not, I think if he can take legs at the right time he could scupper someone’s chances there.

“This is now a proper Grand Slam. No disrespect to those who did well last year, but this is different. The audience will know so-and-so has got to win by 5-3 or they only need four legs. When you’re doing it on your own you’re thinking of it as just as you doing it. But when everyone is on your case or even supporting you, it makes it even more important and it’s very important this event.”

Can Barney turn back the clock?

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Take a look at how Raymond van Barneveld won the Grand Slam of Darts in 2012
Take a look at how Raymond van Barneveld won the Grand Slam of Darts in 2012

“He’s still producing some brilliant stuff and I really do believe this group phase could be so beneficial to him because it’s a short enough format where he can let rip – he can give it a proper rattle.

“With Gary Anderson out of sorts, Michael Smith not used to winning on TV recently and Joe Davis in the group, he’s got a chance to come through that.

“If he can play with freedom then we can see Barney back to the player that won it in 2012.”

What about Van Gerwen’s chances?

Michael van Gerwen won a hat-trick of titles in Wolverhampton between 2015-17

“I think he looks like a player that believes that he’s actually going to win. When he doesn’t win, he’s not becoming angry, he’s not becoming spiteful. He’s not being disliked in the background because he’s becoming aggressive after losing. He’s taking it on the chin.

“I think because he knows that there’s good form there, and if he keeps playing this well, he will win.

“In my opinion, when they all play well, he’s the best player on the planet. When Michael van Gerwen plays to his standard he doesn’t get beat.”

Are Price and Clayton on another collision course?

Will Jonny Clayton and world No 1 Gerwyn Price collide again?

“Price is playing well but not really getting a lot of wins, whereas Jonny Clayton is on a crest of a wave. He’s playing the best darts he’s ever played and he’s winning.

“I always think when will this purple patch end? Because it does end, I’m just not sure when.

“When Price plays well he really does look like a champion. He acts like one, he walks like one, he talks like one and he plays like one.”

Will there be a surprise name?

Mardle is itching to see Rowby-John Rodriguez take on Rusty-Jake Rodriguez

“I think Michael Smith or even Raymond van Barneveld can reach the semi-finals. I even think Luke Humphries can reach the semi-finals.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Stephen Bunting went on another run. He seems to be so equipped these days. He seems to play better on television than he does on the tour.

“I really want to see a semi-final at the top between Rusty-Jake taking on Rowby-John Rodriguez. What TV that would be and both entertain when they play.”

And the winner is?

Mardle is backing Van Gerwen for glory in Wolverhampton

“This tournament is so open, but while I don’t see a surprise winner, do I see a surprise finalist? Yes, maybe. I still think Van Gerwen and Price are the players to beat.

“When Van Gerwen plays well, he wins. And I think he will play well.”

Don’t miss a dart with all nine days of live Grand Slam of Darts action from Wolverhampton’s Aldersley Leisure Village getting underway on Saturday, November 13 – join us from 1pm on Sky Sports Arena. Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts

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NFL Predictions: Week Eight

Neil Reynolds

American Football Expert & Columnist

Watch Thursday Night Football – Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals – live on Sky Sports NFL from 1.20am, Friday morning; join Neil Reynolds and co on Sunday for a triple-header of NFL action from 4pm

Last Updated: 28/10/21 1:21pm




Neil Reynolds has increased his lead over Jeff Reinebold to seven games after getting two more correct picks last week – but can he maintain his advantage as the pair make their Week Eight predictions?

As well as hosting Inside The Huddle on Sky Sports NFL every Tuesday at 9pm, Neil, along with Jeff, release a weekly audio edition of ITH every Wednesday in which they make their game picks.

Neil made nine correct calls in Week Seven, to Jeff’s seven, with wins for the Atlanta Falcons over the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts over the San Francisco 49ers proving decisive and stretching Neil’s overall lead to 74-67. Can Jeff kick-start a comeback this week?

2021 Prediction Results

Neil Reynolds Jeff Reinebold
Week One 9 7
Week Two 13 12
Week Three 12 11
Week Four 8 9
Week Five 14 12
Week Six 9 9
Week Seven 9 7
Total Points 74 67

Click on the link below to listen to this week’s ITH podcast, and read on to see Neil and Jeff’s Week Eight predictions…

Week Eight Predictions

Neil Reynolds Jeff Reinebold
Packers @ Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals
Titans @ Colts Titans Colts
Patriots @ Chargers Chargers Chargers
Cowboys @ Vikings Cowboys Cowboys
Giants @ Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs
49ers @ Bears, Sun, 5pm Bears 49ers
Bengals @ Jets Bengals Bengals
Rams @ Texans Rams Rams
Steelers @ Browns Steelers Browns
Eagles @ Lions Lions Lions
Panthers @ Falcons Falcons Falcons
Dolphins @ Bills Bills Bills
Jaguars @ Seahawks, Sun, 8.05pm Jaguars Seahawks
Buccaneers @ Saints, Sun, 8.25pm Buccaneers Buccaneers
Washington @ Broncos Washington Washington
Bold indicates live on Sky

Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

Thursday Night Football, live on Sky Sports NFL, Friday, 1.20am

Green Bay Packers star receiver Davante Adams is likely to miss Thursday night’s game after testing positive for Covid-19

NEIL PICKS: Cardinals

“The Packers have been hit by Covid in their receiving corps. Allen Lazard is definitely out, as he’s an unvaccinated ‘close contact’ of Davante Adams who, according to Aaron Rodgers, will be out as well.

“This is a marquee matchup, so that’s not what the NFL would have wanted to see. And, because of those losses for Green Bay, I’m going to go with Arizona.

“There was one drive last week where the Cardinals threw to DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, some Zach Ertz in there. It was them showing, ‘we’ve got weapons’.”

JEFF PICKS: Cardinals

“If Adams is indeed out, I’m for sure going with the Cardinals. He is such a big part of the Packers’ offensive production.

“And I don’t think there’s any question that this Arizona team are for real!”

Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts

Sunday, live on Sky Sports NFL, 5pm

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Derrick Henry produced a smart TD pass to open the scoring for the Tennessee Titans against the Kansas City Chiefs in their Week Seven win
Derrick Henry produced a smart TD pass to open the scoring for the Tennessee Titans against the Kansas City Chiefs in their Week Seven win

NEIL PICKS: Titans

“The Colts have won three of their last four and are starting to get things together, while the Titans are coming in off the back of wins over the Bills and Chiefs.

“This could be a close contest. But I think Tennessee’s usual formula of Derrick Henry running the ball, opening up the play-action passing game, will get the job done on the road.”

JEFF PICKS: Colts

“I like the Colts here, I think their defense is underrated and, in Indianapolis, I think they’re going to cause some problems for Tennessee. Colts for me.”

New England Patriots @ Los Angeles Chargers

Sunday, live on Sky Sports NFL, 8.05pm

Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers return to action after their bye week and against a team they lost heavily to last season

NEIL PICKS: Chargers

“I had completely forgotten that the Patriots beat the Chargers 45-0 in Week 13 of last season – and that wasn’t even a good New England team. They stuck it to Justin Herbert!

“We know all of the stats about Bill Belichick against rookie quarterbacks. I know he is no longer a rookie, but he is still a young QB, and so now I’m very interested to see how he and the Chargers react, especially coming in off the back of a 34-6 loss to Baltimore.

“But players still win games and I think Herbert is special, plus he has some talented players around him, so I’m taking LA at home.”

JEFF PICKS: Chargers

“We talk about Herbert like he has been in the league for nine years, but this is still a young quarterback and I’m sure Belichick will have a lot of looks ready for him.

“But I just think this is a different Chargers team to last year, so I’m rolling with them.”

Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings

Sunday Night Football, live on Sky Sports NFL, Monday, 12.20am

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is expected to return from a calf injury for their Sunday night game against the Minnesota Vikings

NEIL PICKS: Cowboys

“It looks like Dak Prescott is going to be back at quarterback for Dallas in this one.

“These are two very good offenses going head to head, but I’m leaning towards the Cowboys on the road as I just think overall they’re the better team – one of the NFL’s elite.”

JEFF PICKS: Cowboys

“Yeh, I agree. I think Dallas have the edge at quarterback, at wide receiver, on defense.”

New York Giants @ Kansas City Chiefs

Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports NFL, Tuesday, 12.15am

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Brian Baldinger joins Inside The Huddle to break down Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs’ struggles this season
Brian Baldinger joins Inside The Huddle to break down Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs’ struggles this season

NEIL PICKS: Chiefs

“The Giants are playing hard, but they’re limited – especially given all of the players they have out injured.

“I think this is a chance for Kansas City to get right, so I’m going for the Chiefs to win at home.”

JEFF PICKS: Chiefs

“Kansas City simply have too many weapons and it’s time for that team to now get on a roll.”

Sky Sports NFL is your dedicated channel for NFL coverage through the season – featuring a host of NFL Network programming. Don’t forget to follow us on skysports.com/nfl, our Twitter account @SkySportsNFL & Sky Sports – on the go!

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