Huybrechts brothers meet in Darts World Championship opener

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The first round of the Ladbrokes World Championship Darts will be a family affair as the luck of the draw pitted Belgian brothers Kim and Ronny Huybrechts together in the pick of the ties.

For the victorious sibling this Christmas will be a joyous occasion, while the loser must resign himself to cheering on the better brother from the crowd.

12th-seed Kim, a quarter-finalist at the tournament last year and two-time winner on the PDC tour in the past two months, will be fancied to progress having got the recent wood over his elder relative when triumphing 10-5 at the Grand Slam of Darts in November.

However, with their four career meetings split at two apiece, Kim, who is 40/1 to win the tournament, will have to ensure his focus doesn’t waver when the most familiar of possible opponents faces him at the oche.

The top two seeds Phil Taylor and Michael Van Gerwen, who head the betting at 10/11 and 3/1 respectively, received relatively placid opening assignments as both men drew qualifiers out of the hat for the first round. However, some seeded players weren’t so lucky.

18th-seed Gary Anderson had the misfortune of being drawn against 2005 Ladbrokes World Championship finalist Mark Dudbridge for the opener, a player who is on the comeback trail having reached the last 16 or better in two of his last three tournaments. While 125/1 shot and 23rd-seed Jamie Caven drew former BDO World Champ Jelle Klaasen.

Elsewhere, at the skinnier end of the betting, Adrian Lewis, 6/1, James Wade, 22/1 and Simon Whitlock, 25/1, will all be relatively comfortable with their first round opponents.

The action kicks off at Alexandra Palace on the 13th December and Ladbrokes will be the one-stop shop for all betting news in the lead up, as well as during, the competition.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.