Michael van Gerwen takes on Phil Taylor in World Matchplay final
Watch the action from The Winter Gardens in Blackpool, live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 7pm
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 24/07/16 9:41pm
Defending champion Michael van Gerwen and 15-time winner Phil Taylor will clash in a mouth-watering 2016 World Matchplay final on Sunday night.
The Dutchman booked his place in a third successive Winter Gardens final by racing to a 17-9 win over Adrian Lewis to continue his bid to retain the title and add a 12th tournament victory to his bulging trophy cabinet this year.
"I'm in the final for the third year in a row and that means a lot to me," said Van Gerwen, who beat James Wade in last year's final, but lost out to Taylor in 2014.
Taylor, meanwhile, saw his challenge to capture a 16th crown in Blackpool to match his tally of World Championship wins hit a peak as he dismantled World Champion Anderson 17-8 to set up a showdown against his arch enemy. You can watch the final live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 7pm on Sunday.
A semi-final loser to Wade 12 months ago, 'The Power' defeated Van Gerwen 18-9 in the 2014 World Matchplay final to pick up his 15th title in Blackpool, but has not won a major TV title since.
He lost the Grand Slam of Darts final 16-13 in November, with the world No 1 always looking in control throughout the contest.
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"It would be fantastic to win this again," said Taylor. "It was a brilliant final two years ago and it's going to be great again. I will rise to the occasion and this is the best I've played for a while.
"I fancy my chances and Michael's in for a battle. I'm playing well and Michael isn't quite as brilliant as he normally is so I think it's a level game. If I get in front of him, he might start to panic.
"It would be a massive achievement and a thank you for all the people that still believe I can win."
In 52 meetings between the pair, Taylor leads 28-22 with two draws, but apart from his recent World Cup of Darts victory over the Dutch ace, his last win came eight matches ago at the UK Open Qualifier final in February.
In fact, since beating Van Gerwen in the final of the Perth Masters in 2014, Taylor has lost 11 out of their last 14 meetings.
The 55-year-old Stoke thrower will hope to rekindle the form which saw him produce one of his greatest ever wins against Van Gerwen in the 2014 World Matchplay final.
Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and iPad and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts and watch the final between Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor, live on Sky Sports 1 HD this Sunday.
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