The weekend’s bright, the weekend’s Oranj at the Darts World C’Ship

The first weekend of the PDC World Championships always invites a carnival atmosphere at Alexandra Palace, and the 2016 edition looks like it will have a distinctly orange tinge in north London.

No fewer than five Dutchmen are due to take to the oche over a weekend crammed full of world-class tungsten slinging at Ally Pally and three of those will need very little introduction.

On Friday evening, the overwhelming even money favourite and the pride of the Netherlands, aka Michael van Gerwen, will make his bow in this year’s tournament.

No doubt bringing an army of darts-mad Dutch with him, Mighty Mike will be lying in wait for one of two qualifiers, who look set for a swift stay in the capital judging by the season the 2014 World Champion has just compiled.

Meanwhile, the source of Saturday afternoon’s Oranj support is slightly less well known to put it mildly, as qualifier Sven Groen fights for the right to face Kevin Painter shortly after in the first-round proper.

Up against Finnish thrower Kim Viljanen, the Dutchman is the slight 1/1 outsider to earn a crack at the Artist.

Saturday evening sees a far more familiar arrow-merchant flying the Oranj flag, when the Dutch Destroyer, aka Vincent van der Voort, takes aim at Australian Loz Ryder.

The 15th seed and quarter-finalist a year ago looks a shrewd enough bet to ease to a three-set victory at 11/10 on Saturday evening.

Those Oranj fans who are making a weekend of it across the North Sea will not be disappointed if they stay on for Sunday either, when they get treated to one of their nation’s finest ever dartists doing battle in a double-Dutch affair.

Former world champion Raymond van Barneveld makes his 2016 Ally Pally bow against Dirk van Duijvenbode on Sunday night.

Being one of the most popular players on the PDC circuit, regardless of his compatriots’ crowd support, London is virtually a home fixture for Barney.

The 2007 champ will be looking for a deep run at Ally Pally and according to Ladbrokes he should breeze past his countryman, with a straight sets victory a shiny-looking 6/5 chance.

A cheeky little 3-0 double on both Barney and the Dutch Destroyer comes out a shade below 3/1 and if you’re feeling fruity, wait until MVG gets his match priced up on Friday night and pump it into a tungsten treble.

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

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.