Before the cream of the crop meet each other in the latter stages of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship there is the small matter of the first round to complete and while the big names are kept apart there is still plenty of drama on offer.
Furthermore, there are plenty of opportunities to cash in on some banker matches and with that in mind the Ladbrokes News Team has compiled this solid four-fold paying out at just under 4/1:
Wayne Jones goes into this tie as the 4/7 favourite but The Wanderer has struggled with Kevin McDine in the past.
The Wolverhampton man cruised to victory in their first two encounters’ but has seen SupaMac reel off three successive victories and this will surely play on his mind as he approaches the famous AlexandraPalace oche.
McDine has shown a vast improvement in his win ratio this year – going from 39.74 in 2012 to 58.14 in this campaign – and at the longer odds of 5/4 is the pick here.
Newcastle-born Aussie Nicholson was poised to explode onto the darts scene following his 2009 win in the Players Championship finals.
However, his potential never really materialised and The Asset will be desperate to get off to a good start on the biggest of stages.
Having beaten Kellet in two of their three meetings – including a 5-2 romp earlier this year – the favourite will be confident of a safe passage to the next round.
Kooster boasts the higher win ratio this year at 64.76 to Nicholson’s 61.82, but with the latter throwing above his career three-dart average at 90.38, The Asset has to be backed for victory.
It will be difficult to look past Gary Anderson when he gets his Ladbrokes World Darts Championship campaign underway against Mark Dudbridge.
While Flash is a former finalist – he lost to Phil Taylor back in 2005 at the Circus Tavern – he has never hit the same heights again and Anderson, who reached the final at Alexandra palace two years ago, can brush aside the 40-year-old in quick time.
The Flying Scotsman, who is 2/9 for victory with tournament sponsors Ladbrokes, has a 3-0 win record in meetings between the pair and he can extend that at London’s home of darts.
Max Hopp became the second youngest player ever to feature at the PDC World Championships last year, qualifying for the first round by beating Charl Pietersen.
But after taking two sets off Dennis Ovens in the first round proper, the German teenager eventually run out of steam.
The 17-year-old, who qualified for this year’s tournament by finishing eighth on the European Order of Merit, will be better for his experiences last year but he faces a huge test against the consistent Robert Thornton.
The ninth seed comes into the Ally Pally event at the end of his best season to date, having finished runner-up in the Grand Slam of Darts among several wins on the Players Championship. He has to be the selection to make a winning start in north London.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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