Adrian Lewis was a semi surprise winner of the Ladbrokes World Championship last year and there are certainly grounds to believe that James Wade can pull off a similar victory 12 months on.
Having dominated the event for the past two decades with 13 successes since 1995, Phil Taylor is unsurprisingly the pick of many punters and odds-on at 5/6 to triumph again.
However, there have been signs in recent years that Taylor is not totally the force of old and he could have difficulty in what looks a tricky second round showdown with Dave Chisnall at Alexandra Palace.
Therefore, there may be some value elsewhere in the winners’ market and Wade must be classed a leading contender given the strength of his second round victory over a former BDO world champion in Jelle Klaasen.
Wade whitewashed Klaasen 4-0 and dropped just four legs in the process to ease into the third round.
What was particularly impressive was his clinical finishing, with a 57 per cent success rate on hitting his doubles, which in turn helped him register a three-dart average of almost 96.
If he continues to be this clinical throughout the tournament, he will be a match for anyone, including Taylor.
Meanwhile, Wade still feels he is yet to hit top form at the tournament and this is encouraging given the way he destroyed Klaasen.
Wade is 8/1 in the darts odds to become world champion for the first time and cap off a solid 2011 which has already seen him win the UK Open title.
Elsewhere, Lewis is 7/1 to make a successful defence of his title and Chisnall is 40/1, which is a price that will shorten drastically if he can upset Taylor.