Forget Hodgson’s boys, our darts duo are set for world glory

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English football fans may be growing ever more optimistic of a World Cup win by the day with the Brazil tournament just six days from starting, but their confidence can’t be anywhere near as high as our darts fans.

The shadows of the Maracana stadium stretches all the way to Hamburg, Germany as the World Cup of Darts gets underway with all but the hardened tungsten-tickling fans paying it any attention.

However, Ladbrokes customers looking to make a buck or two while rejoicing in the fact that England can claim to be the best in the world at a sport should take note, as Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis are well fancied for victory.

The pair, ranked second and third in the world respectively, are the joint 11/8 favourites to win the World Cup and have a favourable draw to reach the final.

Taylor and Lewis, great friends off the oche, have won the competition for the past two years, but can’t be separated from Holland duo Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld in the betting.

The Stoke pairing have been handed the top seed for the competition though and face Thailand in the first round, a match they are heavily fancied to prevail at 1/100.

Only Australians Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson, who they beat to claim their first title in 2012, pose much of a threat to the English, with the Down Under darters having to overcome the formidable Welsh pairing of Mark Webster and Richie Burnett before the likely Ashes semi-final.

6/1 third favourites Scotland (Peter Wright and Robert Thornton) are likely to be Holland’s semi-final opponents, with the Huybrechts brothers from Belgium a potential banana-skin along that pathway.

The final that everyone wants, though, is between the top two seeds and punters believing in mirror imagery can back the same final being contested in the football World Cup at 150/1.

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.