World Darts Championship Day 2: Taylor begins his farewell v Dobey

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It’s the beginning of the end for Phil Taylor as the World Darts Championships rolls on to day two.

The Power is retiring at the conclusion of the tournament and faces a tough test against Chris Dobey in round one.

Elsewhere, Stephen Bunting will take on Dimitri Van den Bergh, while Rob Cross makes his Alexandra Palace debut.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of three big first-round matches…

Stephen Bunting v Dimitri Van den Bergh

Given the respective quality of these two players, this match should be one of the games of the round.

In what will likely be a tight affair, we think that Dimitri Van den Bergh can come out on top at 6/5.

The exciting Belgian youngster has looked seriously impressive of late and reached the quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals last month.

He followed that up with victory in the PDC World Youth Championship and looks well placed and well-priced to cause a mini-upset against the out of form Stephen Bunting.

Phil Taylor v Chris Dobey

When Phil Taylor won his first World Championship in 1990, Chris Dobey was still five months away from being born.

The Power has shown longevity and quality in a career which has spanned nigh-on three decades.

But this game won’t be easy.

Dobey has shown signs of quality before and has enjoyed a sharp rise up the rankings in 2017.

While Taylor should still get the job done at 1/7, there’s value to be had when it comes to set betting. It’s 11/5 for the King of tungsten to prevail 3-1.

Rob Cross v Seigo Asada/Gordon Mathers

In the space of 12 months, Rob Cross has gone from an unknown electrician to 12/1 fifth-favourite for the World Darts Championship.

That’s quite some rise for a player who had to qualify in a Riley’s bar for last year’s edition of the UK Open.

Against either Seigo Asada or Gordon Mathers, Cross should gain safe passage through to the second round.

‘Voltage’ to be King of the Oche provides a better return than any outright market.

Click here for the latest 2018 PDC World Championship odds.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the University of East Anglia where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper Concrete. He also supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Other passions include darts, cricket and horse racing.