Two of the tournament’s underdogs will get their campaign underway on day five of the 2018 PDC World Darts Championship.
Daryl Gurney and Mensur Suljovic were rated as 40/1 and 50/1 shots ahead of the start of the competition last Thursday.
They’ll be hoping to make headway against potentially tricky opponents this evening as the run-up to Christmas begins at the Alexandra Palace.
Here’s our look-ahead to this evening’s matches…
Mensur Suljovic v Kevin Painter
Two players heading in different directions meet in the opening first round match of the night.
At the age of 45, Suljovic has enjoyed a breakthrough year on the circuit.
The Austrian arrow-smith has been a consistent presence in the latter stages of tournaments this season and confirmed his status as one of the world’s best by winning the Champions League in September.
Against Kevin Painter – a World Championship veteran – he should confirm favouritism at 1/6.
You can also get 21/20 about Suljovic continuing his good form by recording a 3-0 victory against The Artist.
Given that ‘The Gentle’ is synonymous with D14, we think it could also pay to back the 6ft 2in slinger to take out D14 as the Match Winning Double at 10/1.
Daryl Gurney v Ronny Huybrechts
Like Suljovic, Gurney is a player who has enjoyed a breakthrough year.
The Northern-Irishman finished runner-up in the US Masters and followed that with victory in the World Grand Prix.
A good run at the Worlds would be the icing on the cake for the 31-year-old.
Against Ronny Huybrechts, he should progress comfortably at odds of 1/7.
The Belgian hasn’t won in the first round at a major since defeating Mark Rice in the UK Open at 2016.
Gurney is a class above the brother of Kim and should sail through 3-0 at 6/5.
As a power scorer, we also like the Derry-born thrower to hit a 180 in the first leg of the match at 6/4.
Mark Webster v Kai Fan Leung/Paul Lim
Mark Webster will face the winner of this evening’s preliminary round match between Kai Fan Leung and Paul Lim.
Lim is taken to prevail in that one. And if he does, Welshman Webster could be in for a battle.
The Singaporean was a key player as his national team beat Scotland and Spain in the 2017 World Cup of Darts.
Over the set format, he’s a thrower who can give any opponent problems. Provided he gets through, we think Lim can nick a set off of Webby.
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication