The Dutchman burst onto the darts scene in 2012, winning the World Grand Prix and the Premier League in the process, as well as finishing runner-up in the World Championships earlier this year.
However, prior to the start of the defence of his World Grand Prix title against John Part this evening, former World Matchplay champion Harrington has insisted that opponents go into their matches against the 24-year-old without any pressure.
"I know Michael van Gerwen won here last year, but the fast players have a tendency to miss doubles and that's obviously a disadvantage in the double-in format," he told Sky Sports News.
"Van Gerwen isn't in the form that he was six to eight months ago and I think that's because people aren't as scared of him any more. A lot of people think he's going to win so they go up there and relax against him and the fear factor diminishes.
"He can't afford to mess around against John Part in the first round. The old fella isn't playing the best darts of his life but if he gets chances he will take them - and the double-in format will suit him."
Van Gerwen is the second favourite to retain his title in Dublin behind Phil Taylor.