The eagerly-anticipated Ladbrokes World Darts Championship finally gets underway this weekend and we intend to supplement punters’ excitement with a classy fivefold that pays out in the region of 19/1.
Robert Thornton to beat Magnus Caris @ 1/6
The first selection is a rather unadventurous one but focuses on the opening game of the competition. It sees the UK Open champion and surprise package of the 2012 season, Robert Thornton, pitting his darting wits against Swedish star Magnus Caris in a match he surely cannot lose.
Poker Face hasn’t fared too well of late, losing two of his last three games by 6-0 scorelines and has crashed out in the opening round of this competition in both the years he’s competed since a switch from the BDO. Thornton, who has kicked Phil Taylor from pillar to post in the games that have mattered this term, should have no trouble here.
Wayne Jones to beat Jerry Hendriks @ 4/11
Youngster Jerry ‘Hot Dog’ Hendriks is expected to struggle on his Ally Pally bow, despite the bad time Jones had at the recent Grand Slam of Darts.
The Wanderer, however, has proved he has the means to see off the Dutchman with recent victories over Dave Chisnall, Kevin Painter and, most impressively, Phil Taylor – he shouldn’t be overlooked at this price.
Joe Cullen to beat John Part @ 13/8
Darth Maple has twice felt the weight of the world crown atop his Canadian head but he’s in for a shock exit at the first hurdle here.
Joe Cullen has plenty of potential that largely remains untapped but recent wins over Alan Tabern and Kim Huybrechts suggest he’s improving and, with confidence high, he can definitely despatch bullish Part.
Max Hopp to beat Charl Pietersen @ 4/5
Germany’s answer to Michael van Gerwen is 16-year-old Max Hopp and, although this preliminary match can swing either way he’s got to be the one to put your money on.
He fended off seven other players including one of the surprise packages of 2011 tournament, Mensur Suljovic, to earn his ticket to this tournament, he unquestionably has the ability to get the job done here.
Co Stompe to beat Paul Nicholson @ 13/8
Another anticipated shock in the opening round is Dutch crowd pleaser Co Stompe coming out on top against the Asset.
The fans will be raucous in their support of Stompe given how much his opponent is disliked by darts lovers and Matchstick will thrive in this environment.
Their head-to-head stats are well matched at two wins apiece and the underdog should fancy his chances of progression here.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date