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2017 PDC Worlds day 7 preview: 44 is the magic number on Wednesday

Sam Barnard | 21 December 2016

2017 PDC World Championship

  • First round, day seven
  • Wednesday, December 21st
  • Session starts: 19:00 GMT
  • Alexandra Palace, London
  • Live on Sky Sports Darts (3)

Wade, Suljovic and Thornton all in action

Just two more days remain in the 2017 PDC World Championship first round, but still a number of seed stars remain including three in the top 10 on Wednesday evening.

Mensur Suljovic, James Wade and Robert Thornton will all be hoping to avoid shocks at Alexandra Palace this early, as they face respective opponents Ron Meulenkamp, Ronny Huybrechts and one of Zoran Lerchbacher or Simon Stevenson.

So, read on to check out Coral’s 2017 PDC Worlds day 7 preview…

Zoran Lerchbacher v Simon Stevenson

Lerchbacher (pictured) has a tricky first test against Stevenson.

Lerchbacher (pictured) has a tricky first test against Stevenson.

Austria’s Lerchbacher and Plymouth-born Stevenson, both 44, share the oche first on Wednesday evening in the preliminary tussle, to take on Robert Thornton later that night, and it is the latter who goes into it as 4/11 favourite.

That is largely due to his decent form in 2016 since gaining a two-year PDC tour card which has taken him up to 81 in the rankings, and included a quarter-final appearance at a Players Championship event in August.

The Mirror Man beat the likes of Wade and Alan Norris to reach that stage in Barnsley and, while The Hypercane Lerchbacher (21/10) has some good form in smaller events on the continent, the Englishman is 6/5 to triumph 2-0.

Mensur Suljovic v Ron Meulenkamp

Suljovic (pictured) has a favourable first round fixture against Meulenkamp.

Suljovic (pictured) has a favourable first round fixture against Meulenkamp.

Talking of players who have rapidly risen the rankings, Suljovic is perhaps the biggest improver of them all on the PDC circuit, as he now finds himself as the world number eight, ahead of the likes of Dave Chisnall and Raymond van Barneveld.

The Gentle Austrian (1/5), also 44, should have no troubles defeating young-gun Meulenkamp (7/2), who failed to get past this stage in his only other 2017 Worlds appearance.

Another whitewash cold be on the cards, so why not back Suljovic at 6/4 to win 3-0?

James Wade v Ronny Huybrechts

Wade (pictured) has lost the last two meetings with Huybrechts, but should be able to end that run.

Wade (pictured) has lost the last two meetings with Huybrechts, but should be able to end that run.

Wade (1/6) wouldn’t have been happy seeing himself drawn with Huybrechts (4/1), elder half-brother of Kim, as he has lost two of his four meetings with him – which came in their last two tussles.

The Machine is still heavy favourite to win on this occasion, though, but it could very well go the distance.

Odds of 4/1, therefore, say that Wade will triumph 3-2, and if he gets through this match-up he is 3/1 second-favourite to win his quarter – behind just Peter Wright.

Robert Thornton v Lerchbacher/Stevenson

Thornton will hope to use his quality and avoid another first round exit.

Thornton will hope to use his quality and avoid another first round exit.

Last onto the oche is Thornton, who may not have it all his own way, especially should Stevenson make it through.

The Scotsman went out at this stage last year to Norris in straight sets, and hasn’t had the best of years in big events.

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For more previews, tips and features during the 2017 PDC World Championship, check out our extensive arrow archive.

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