Darting action is back on Thursday in the form of the PDC World Cup of Darts. The event will return to the Eissporthalle in Frankfurt, Germany for the second year running and Craig Wilburn looks to value in the outright market.
Thursday 2nd June – Sunday 5th June 2016
PDC WORLD CUP OF DARTS
Netherlands (13/8), England (9/4) and Scotland (7/2) head the betting. English pairing Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis are the reigning champions but have a tricky first round tie against Spain (Antonio Alcinas/Cristo Reyes). Memories of 2010 come flooding back when Taylor and then partner James Wade suffered a shock second round exit to Spanish opponents Alcinas and Carlos Rodriguez. Netherlands (Michael van Gerwen/Raymond van Barneveld) and Scotland (Gary Anderson/Robert Thornton) both appear to have easier first round ties in Russia and New Zealand.
Netherlands are rightly positioned at the top of the betting, the format from the second round onwards means Van Gerwen could almost single handily blaze the Netherlands to the title.
Runners-up in 2015 Scotland have arguably lost some potency as Robert Thornton replaces Peter Wright.
Looking at the bigger prices I’ve narrowed it down to three potential outsiders, Belgium (33/1), Austria (33/1) and Northern Ireland (50/1).
Belgium are represented by brothers Kim and Ronny Huybrechts for the fourth year running. Losing Finalists in 2013, they reached the Quarter Finals in 2014 and Semi Finals in 2015. Who can forget the tense Quarter Final battle between Belgium and Australia in 2015, fully complete with WWE style throat-slitting gestures. The Belgians are in the same quarter as Scotland but it would be no surprise to see their experience and familiarity with each others game help them to advance deep in the competition.
This will be the third consecutive year that the pairing Mensur Suljovic and Rowby-John Rodriguez have represented Austria. The pair will be up against it, failing to previously progress beyond Round 2. Having said that Suljovic has arguably become one of the most consistent players on the PDC tour over the last 18 months. Rodriguez at 22 has had some decent finishes on the PDC Development Tour in the recent times and will look to carry that into this tournament.
Northern Ireland have a new pairing for this competition. Brendan Dolan remains however Michael Mansell is replaced by Daryl Gurney. Gurney had a breakthrough season in 2015, reaching the semi finals of the Players Championship in November with defeats over Kim Huybrechts, Gary Anderson and Benito van de Pas en route. Listed as fourth seeds the Northern Irish pair ought to reach the Quarter Finals as a minimum, confidence from which could hopefully see them progress further.
TIP: Netherlands/England straight forecast (3/1 at Sky Bet)
TIP: Northern Ireland outright (50/1 at BetVictor)