Glasgow’s Braehead Arena is preparing to welcome some of the finest players in the world of darts this weekend, as the Ladbrokes World Series Finals get underway. But before the seeded players get involved with proceedings, we have to whittle 16 of the circuit’s outsiders down to just eight.
Here at Ladbrokes News we’ve taken a look at the first round fixtures, coming up with a 43/1 acca which could get your tungsten-filled weekend off to a flyer!
Cristo Reyes to beat Max Hopp
We’re going with experience in this one, although it was a close shout, and the odds certainly reflect that, with Reyes priced at 4/7 while Hopp is slightly odds-against at 11/8. The pair have only met once before, and that came just over a year ago, where Reyes came out on top.
Michael Smith to beat Benito van de Pas
Smith has come a long way in the last 24 months, featuring in the Premier League for the first time in his career this year. But now is the time for him to show us what the hype surrounding him is all about. Failure to reach the final 16 would be considered a huge step backwards.
Jelle Klaasen to beat Kim Huybrechts
Despite it being a fairly strong year for Klaasen, he still has a lot to prove. His aim over the coming months is to break into the top eight in the world, and a good run in this event will go a long way towards helping him do just that.
Simon Whitlock to beat Brendan Dolan
The Wizard of Oz has enjoyed some fine form of late, winning back-to-back Players Championships in October. Whitlock was also one dart away from knocking Michael van Gerwen out of the European Championships last weekend, and that alone should give him the confidence to progress to the next round.
Mensur Suljovic to beat Robert Thornton
Ask anyone on the circuit who they think could cause a few upsets in the coming months and they’ll all mention Suljovic’s name. The 44-year-old enters this event off the back of his first televised final last weekend against MVG. While he was brushed aside in that match, he’ll certainly have the bug for the big stage now. This one could potentially be the match of the round.
Joe Cullen to beat Joe Murnan
Cullen has never lost to Murnan in four previous meetings. He’s not exactly had a year worth writing home about, but there’s no doubt a good run in Glasgow will give him confidence heading into the World Championship in December.
Gerwyn Price to beat Steve Beaton
Price is emerging as a genuine contender for major glory in the next few years. He’s shown on several occasions this year that he can mix it with the big boys, and he’ll get the chance to prove that once again should he progress to the next round, as Mighty Mike will be waiting for him.
Daryl Gurney to beat Josh Payne
Josh Payne is certainly one to watch for the future, but it’s Gurney who should come out on top here. He can continue his great form against the 22-year-old by securing a fifth straight victory over the lad from Gravesend.
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