PDC World Darts: Whitlock to uphold flawless 1st-round record

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You better make sure your Christmas shopping is done folks as it’s very nearly time to kick-back and soak up some top-notch darting action from the first round of the PDC World Championship at Alexandra Palace.

64 of the planet’s finest dartists will contest the best-of-five-set first-round proper and as usual here at News.Ladbrokes towers we are stepping up to the oche along with Phil Taylor and co.

Throughout the duration of the tournament we’ll be offering our best bets, starting with this trio to kick things off on December 18th.

Simon Whitlock to win 3-0 @ 12/5

Last year’s beaten semi-finalist and 2010 runner-up Whitlock holds a proud record of never dropping a set in five appearances in north London since returning to the PDC fold in 2009.

The Wizard should be able to cast a similar spell over veteran Darren Webster who hasn’t negotiated the first round in the previous two years.

Christian Kist to beat Jelle Klassen @ evens

This all-Dutch affair is one of the most intriguing to hit the Ally Pally stage in the opening round, with 29th seed Klassen from the main PDC Order of Merit installed as slender 4/5 favourite to dump out ProTour qualifier and 36th seed Kist.

Both former BDO world champions, the pair have met twice before and Kist has come out on top each time.

Latterly Kist triumphed in a thrilling 6-5 win in October at the PDPA Players Championship in Crawley and is tipped to upset the odds again.

Michael van Gerwen to win 3-0 @ 1/2

The defending champion is drawn against ProTour qualifier Joe Cullen, but unlike Kist the Englishman is highly unlikely to make any impression on Mighty Mike.

Cullen makes his fourth consecutive first-round appearance at the world’s, but has been sent packing 3-0 in each of the last three against far better opposition, in Peter Wright, John Part and Terry Jenkins.

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

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