PDC WDC round 1 evening session: Barney, Bunting centre stage
Holly Thackeray | December 19th, 2015
Day 4: First round evening session plus preliminary action
- 2016 PDC World Darts Championship
- Sunday, December 20th
- Session from: 19:10-23:00 GMT
- Alexandra Palace, London
- Live on Sky Sports Darts and Sky Sports 1
Barney, Bunting and King crown cracking day of darts
Barney’s Army need wait no longer, as Raymond van Barneveld makes his much-awaited 2016 PDC World Darts Championship first round appearance on the evening of day four.
To top off a superb evening of tungsten tussles, familiar faces Stephen Bunting and Mervyn King also make their way to the Alexandra Palace oche for their respective opening fixtures. Check out Coral’s best bets for the four magnificent matches below…
Preliminary round (best of three sets, no tie-break)
Aleksandr Oreshkin v Paul Lim
The Singapore Slinger, the first person ever to hit a World Championship nine-darter back in 1990, is 2/5 favourite to use his extensive experience to beat Russian arrowsmith Oreshkin, having reached the last 16 of this competition before.
Mervyn King waits for the winner, and Lim may be best positioned to dethrone the world number 14, so is worth backing at 11/8 to progress smoothly by beating Oreshkin 2-0 beforehand.
Stephen Bunting v Jyhan Artut
Previous head-to-heads leave this call even, with one victory apiece for each arrowsmith. Though Bunting’s recent poor form could leave the door ajar for Artut, who is 10/3 for a second successive victory over The Bullet (2/9) in the past five months.
Raymond van Barneveld v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Barney (odds-on at 1/6) has defeated his fellow Dutchman by two legs both times they have previously tussled, so looks enticing at 21/10 to make it a perfect three by beating his younger peer 3-1.
Bold, burgeoning talent Titan is available to back at 4/1 to shock Van Barneveld, but the cult hero is back on an upward curve and is not likely to wobble.
Mervyn King v Oreshkin/Lim
This year may have seen King’s crown slip a little, after falling at the first hurdles of all of the World Matchplay, World Grand Prix, European Championship and Players Championship Finals, as well as a group stage exit in the Grand Slam. Still, The King now has the chance to start afresh, and it was not so long ago the Englishman was routinely ending as a runner-up in premier PDC events.
With an eyebrow-raising first round exit to current World Youth champion Max Hopp in the last edition of this competition still raw, King will not want to make that mistake again versus one of outsiders Oreshkin or Lim.
Read more news, previews and reaction on the World Darts Championship by dipping into our darts page.
Coral’s top tip: Barney looks brilliant at 21/10 to beat Van Duijvenbode by 3-1.