Name: Simon Whitlock (The Wizard)
World Ranking: 4
Best World Championship Performance: Final (2008)
Entrance Music: Down Under by Men at Work
Having lifted five titles since August, there is little doubt that Simon Whitlock arrives at Alexandra Palace high on confidence and a strong contender to be win the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship for the first time.
The biggest of these victories came in the European Championship in September when getting the better of Wes Newton, while he has since reached the final of the lucrative Championship of Darts, where he was beaten by Phil Taylor.
Meanwhile, Whitlock has a 50 per cent or better win rate against the majority of his biggest rivals for the Ally Pally title, including Newton, Adrian Lewis, James Wade, Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld.
Whitlock is 10/1 to become world champion for the first time and his first opponent will be the winner of the preliminary round clash between Japan’s Haruki Muramatsu or New Zealand number one Dave Harrington.