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European Championship darts 1st round tips: James Wade v Gary Anderson dominates opening duels

Holly Thackeray | 28 October 2016

2016 European Championship

  • First round
  • Friday, October 28th
  • First session starts: 13:00 BST
  • Second session starts: 19:00 BST
  • Hasselt, Belgium
  • Live on ITV4

Five tasty European Championship darts first round tips

Darts season is now full steam ahead, as the European Championship kicks off a fantastic few months for the sport with a double session of darting duels on Friday.

Due to the way this unique tournament is seeded, with only the top eight players from the final 2016 European Tour Order of Merit rewarded, the first round fixtures have already thrown up some fantastic frays for punters to feast on. You can see the full opening day draw below.

James Wade v Gary Anderson odds are up for grabs.

James Wade v Gary Anderson odds are up for grabs.

So, indulge this Friday with our awesome European Championship darts first round tips from five selected showdowns, with James Wade v Gary Anderson odds among those up for grabs.

But, don’t forget there’s soon more to come with the Grand Slam and World Championship among upcoming autumn and winter events. To get in the mood, check out our best-ever darting comebacks piece

Flying Scotsman to shut down The Machine

Back the Flying Scotsman in our European Championship darts first round tips.

Back The Flying Scotsman in our European Championship darts first round tips.

The first round is saving its best for last, as Wade and unseeded Gary Anderson close the evening with their riveting clash, with it unusual for these top two to tungsten titans to tussle so early on.

Expect an explosive opener from the pair, who could not be separated in Premier League of Darts with two draws this year. It’s also one victory apiece from their past two meetings, but Gary Anderson looks good with a dominant 28-13 winning record to jump this first hurdle.

So, back The Flying Scotsman for success, with the world champion a tempting 5/1 to win 6-4.

Bully Boy a brilliant bet for most maximums

Michael Smith faces Stephen Bunting.

Michael Smith faces Stephen Bunting.

This battle in Belgium should be another fascinating close call, as both highly-rated players have shown plenty of promise before, though each have suffered recent dips after bright breakthroughs in their respective careers.

Bunting has had the better of recent duels with Smith, but Bully Boy can really power score when in the mood and ranks eighth for most recorded maximums in the past year – that’s eight places above 16th placed The Bullet with a whopping 79 more 180s.

With this in mind, future star Smith is value at 11/8 for most maximums in this match, with the darting duo’s odds close in most markets.

Big Ben to be crowned King of the Oche

Benito van de Pas can be King of the Oche.

Benito van de Pas can be King of the Oche.

Next up is another intriguing encounter between two players who could be the future of the sport as young guns Benito van de Pas (23) and Max Hopp (20) collide in Hasselt.

There’s little doubt German hope Hopp has swagger, but Big Ben is ranked 15th in the PDC, far above his younger peer and was a recent World Grand Prix quarter-finalist.

Arrow prodigy the Maximiser can’t escape the fact he’s the last three of four previous meetings to Van de Pas, whose greater experience at the business end makes him a fine 4/1 to be King of the Oche (win match, most 180s and highest checkout. If any of the markets are tied, bets will be settled as losers).

Chizzy to hit a 180 in first leg

Dave Chisnall loves a 180!

Dave Chisnall loves a 180!

Kyle Anderson could certainly win an award for most improved arrowsmith, as he’s really starting to make a PDC impact.

Unfortunately for this Oceanic underdog, mercurial maximums man Dave Chisnall makes for a tough opening round opponent – with the English oche hero having made several semi-finals of late.

Still, renowned 180 specialist Chizzy cannot afford to take Aussie Anderson lightly, so opting for the seed to come bursting out of the blocks could prove profitable. There’s best value then, in Chisnall at 6/4 to notch a 180 in the first leg!

The Bull can charge to a 6-5 victory

Terry Jenkins is a crowd favourite.

Terry Jenkins is a crowd favourite.

From the sports finest upcoming talents to some wily veterans, old pros Ian White and Terry Jenkins feature in our final tip.

In this all-English affair, Diamond is rated as favourite to shine but is actually behind crowd pleaser The Bull in head-to-heads.

Jenkins and his famous Bull shuffle walk-on have charged to victory in three of the past four meetings too. So, punters can enhance outright win odds of 5/4 for the cult hero to a more appealing 13/2 for a repeat 6-5 scoreline of his last triumph over White.

2016 European Championship first round fixtures

Jamie Caven v James Richardson
Daryl Gurney v Gerwyn Price
Chris Dobey v Joe Cullen
Ian White v Terry Jenkins
Cristo Reyes v Robert Thornton
Mervyn King v Devon Petersen
Michael Smith v Stephen Bunting
Max Hopp v Benito van de Pas

Jelle Klaasen v Steve West
Kim Huybrechts v James Wilson
Dave Chisnall v Kyle Anderson
Mensur Suljovic v Jermaine Wattimena
Peter Wright v Justin Pipe
Alan Norris v Phil Taylor
Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock
James Wade v Gary Anderson

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