Coral pick 5 first round shocks for 2016 World Darts Championship
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | December 1, 2015
With the 2016 PDC World Darts Championship draw now announced, ahead of the marquee event starting this December 17th, Coral writers pick five potential first round upsets.
Keegan Brown to beat Peter Wright
Snakebite is one of the biggest names in darts, being ranked the world number four after a terrific year, though here are signs that he has perhaps peaked too early ahead this year’s World Championship and he may be burnt out.
Although he reached the final at the World Series of Darts Finals in his nation of birth Scotland, he followed up that effort with a disappointing showing at the Players Championship finals, where he crashed out in the second round.
To make matters worse, he has been handed perhaps the most tricky tie of any of the 32 seeds, with rapidly rising starlet Brown, who upset three-time world champion John Part at this stage last year, standing in his way.
Armageddon (9/4 match chance) has been unlucky this year with first round draws, often getting Michael van Gerwen, but he knows he has what it takes to defeat Wright, having done so in three of their last four matches.
Daryl Gurney to beat Jamie Lewis
Northern Ireland’s Gurney made a surprise semi-final showing at the recent Players Championship Finals, and will no doubt still be on a high, so can use that momentum to good effect when he faces young Welshman Lewis.
At 11/10, Dude, who had to knock out the likes of Kim Huybrechts and current world champ Gary Anderson in Minehead, represents great value, as he’s beaten Rasta twice from their three meetings.
Max Hopp to beat Benito van de Pas
In this battle between two young stars, signs do point towards 6/4 shout and German teenager Hopp to come out on top. The 18-year-old recently claimed the prestigious PDC World Youth Championship, so will be in great confidence.
On top of that, the last two champions of that event, now-established stars Michael Smith and Brown, went onto win their first round matches at least at the following senior World Darts Championship.
Van de Pas did well at the Players Championship Finals to reach the quarters, but he’ll certainly be disappointed to have gone out to lesser-ranked Gurney.
Ronny Huybrechts to beat Dean Winstanley
On his day, older Huybrechts brother Ronny can beat almost anyone in the world. And he certainly seems to play his best darts on the bigger stage, having reached the Grand Slam of Darts last 16, European Championship semis and World Cup of Darts final in the last couple of years.
Winstanley, meanwhile, has failed to really push up the rankings much after initially showing promise when he moved to the PDC in 2012, so back the brother of Kim to triumph at 11/10.
Alan Norris to beat Robert Thornton
A more recent crossover to the PDC (earlier this year), Norris was the BDO World Championship runner-up in 2014, and is certainly making his way up the rankings.
Chuck (6/4 for victory) has already beaten veteran Thornton this year, and also bettered the Scotsman’s showing at the Players Championship Finals, with The Thorn going out at the first hurdle.
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