Phil Taylor has the belief to beat Michael van Gerwen in Matchplay final, says Wayne Mardle
Rod Harrington says Taylor has the game to end his barren run. Watch the final on Sky Sports 1 HD from 7pm on Sunday
Last Updated: 24/07/16 7:01pm
After getting annihilated in the Premier League final, you expect a 55-year-old to go on a downward spiral, but Phil Taylor isn't a normal 55-year-old says Wayne Mardle.
A rejuvenated Taylor will take on reigning and defending World Matchplay champion Michael van Gerwen at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool after producing an awe-inspiring performance.
The former world No 1, who is aiming to land his 16th title at the seaside resort, crushed double world champion Gary Anderson 17-8 on the stage before sending out a warning to his great rival Van Gerwen during his post-match interview.
Both Mardle and Rod Harrington believe 'The Power' has grown in confidence throughout the tournament, but feel he must stay one-step ahead of the mighty Dutchman if he is to collect his first piece of major silverware in two years.
"It's the doubles," Mardle told Sky Sports. "I'm not concerned about Phil Taylor's 60 hitting, you know it's going to happen.
"Michael van Gerwen's combination finishes are brilliant and Phil Taylor's will have to match up, otherwise I think he will get beat. I'm looking forward to it.
"Van Gerwen will be odds on favourite and probably rightfully so. The bookies know that Phil Taylor can perform under the scrutiny of a world champion standing behind him and it's different.
"If you stand there behind your opponent and they know you can win, they're frightened and that's the difference.
"The last time Phil played Michael in a real big game was the Premier League final when he got annihilated. Michael van Gerwen knows Phil has a bit more belief than that day. That was in the middle if May, we're now talking the end of July. Two months to a 55-year-old, you're thinking they're going to go on a downward spiral. But Phil Taylor is not a normal 55-year-old. is he?"
Michael van Gerwen's combination finishes are brilliant and Phil Taylor's will have to match up, otherwise I think he will get beat. I'm looking forward to it.
Wayne Mardle on World Matchplay final
Rod Harrington feels Taylor can beat Van Gerwen, saying: "Phil Taylor has got the game to lift this title again. All the stats say that and you can't disregard the stats.
"All this year Phil Taylor has doubted his own ability. He's missed chances of closing out games when he normally would have just closed them out and walked off the stage.
"However, in that game [against Anderson], he never had a chance to doubt his own ability because he was never in a position [to do so]. He was always well in front and if he can do the same with Michael and he gets on a run and remember about tonight then he's got a good chance, but only if he gets in front against Michael, like he did against Gary."
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