Who are the favourites to win the World Darts Championship?
It must be nearly Christmas if it’s time for the World Darts Championship from Alexandra Palace, with another festive season of trebles, doubles, maximums, bullseyes and bounce outs on the way.
The PDC has gone above and beyond to ensure minimal disruption to their schedule this year, and the reward is a World Championship being held at the right place at the right time.
It won’t be quite the same of course, and Ally Pally won’t be a bouncing fancy-dress carnival, but nevertheless, we’ve got some thrilling tungsten action coming up. The big question is, who will win the famed Sid Waddell trophy in three weeks’ time? We’ve got the lowdown on the top eight in the betting…
Well who else would be it at the sharp end of the market? Mighty Michael van Gerwen is eyeing up a fourth world crown, and the Dutchman has been backed into 12/5 favouritism from 4/1, following his fine win at the Ladbrokes Players Championship last month.
Mighty Mike has enjoyed a steady season, and the general vibe is that the Green Machine can still go up another gear at Ally Pally.
When on top form, few players can get near MVG, but despite being the man to beat over the last six years, Van Gerwen has only translated that into three world titles. Can he maintain his focus this year?
And should Van Gerwen struggle to find his best form on the oche, plenty will fancy Welshman Gerwyn Price to take advantage.
The Iceman has emerged as a real contender for the big events over the last 18 months, developing a clinical aspect to his game.
Semi-finalist 12 months ago, Price has won the World Grand Prix, the World Cup of Darts and the World Series of Darts Finals in a fine 2020 campaign.
Plenty of players have expressed their struggles with playing on this isolating, fan-free, socially distant tour in 2020, but few have been so candid as reigning champion Peter Wright.
Snakebite has readily stated that he has struggled to play well in 2020 given all the difficulties going on, but when on-song, everyone knows that the reigning champion is capable of on the oche.
A quick glance at the prices shows you what darts fans and our traders are thinking. MVG, Price and Wright are seemingly the ones to beat, with the likes of Michael Smith heading up a phenomenally talented and evenly-matched set of challengers.
Runner-up in the 2019 world final, Bully Boy has struggled to build on that superb run, but did reach the World Matchplay semis, plus the finals of the World Cup and Masters. If he can find consistency, the St Helens arrowsmith has every weapon in his armoury to go all the way.
We’ll straight up acknowledge that Jose de Sousa has never reached the second round at Alexandra Palace.
But if it’s form you’re looking for, then the Portuguese ace is the one to watch. The Special One has been playing better and better in every aspect of his game throughout 2020, and brought it all together with a superb performance to win his first televised tournament last month at the Grand Slam.
It was a thoroughly deserved result for the 46-year-old, who will be a real threat if he maintains his recent performances on the oche.
The Dream Maker won the World Matchplay earlier this year, and looked a potential winner at the Grand Slam before narrow 16-15 defeat to an inspired James Wade in the semi-finals.
Much like De Sousa, Belgian Dimitri Van den Bergh has been one of the stars of 2020, and is another who has it in his locker to defeat all comers this Christmas. Has a potential date with Van Gerwen in the quarter-finals.
Another who briefly looked a potential winner in the Grand Slam, Nathan Aspinall is on the cusp of that big step to becoming a regular contender at the big stuff.
The Asp finished runner-up in the Premier League earlier this year, and has consistently showed his talent, with a semi-final run at the Masters and that quarter-final performance at the Grand Slam.
A semi-finalist 12 months, Aspinall had Van Gerwen on the ropes in their thrilling semi-final, and a year on, will be desperate to make amends at Ally Pally this time around.
Is this the year James Wade brings it all together at Alexandra Palace? The Machine is a five-time quarter-finalist and three-time semi-finalist at Ally Pally, and after a couple of years struggling with his game, has enjoyed a renaissance in 2020.
Reached the final of both the European Championship and the Grand Slam in the Autumn, and has been playing much like the Wade of old.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.