PDC WDC round 1: Title outsiders Thornton, Smith and Wade feature
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | December 20, 2015
Day 5: First round evening session plus preliminary action
- 2016 PDC World Darts Championship
- Monday, December 21st
- Session from: 19:10-23:00 GMT
- Alexandra Palace, London
- Live on Sky Sports Darts and Sky Sports 2
Strong line-up for Monday evening session
After four thrilling days at the 2016 PDC World Darts Championship, Monday evening promising yet more magic as the first round continues.
The likes of outside title shouts Robert Thornton, Michael Smith and James Wade are in action, while rising stars on the PDC circuit Alan Norris and Jeffrey de Zwaan will be aiming to cause shocks.
Read on to find out more on the following four fixtures, and check out our reaction of last night’s action…
Preliminary round (best of three sets, no tie-break)
Warrick Scheffer v John Michael
Scheffer will be aiming to become the only South African to reach this year’s first round proper, as compatriot Devon Petersen failed to qualify, but comes up against Greek journeyman Michael, who reached the last 64 last time out.
Cypriot-born Michael, nicknamed Deadly Rose, is the odds-on 4/9 favourite and to beat Scheffer (13/8), and a more enticing 6/4 price to triumph 2-0.
Robert Thornton v Alan Norris
Number six seed Thornton (8/15 favourite) has had a terrific year to date, capped off by his victory over Michael van Gerwen in the World Grand Prix final to claim his third major trophy.
But the veteran Scot may not have it all his way against former BDO World Championship finalist Norris (6/4), who has been gradually showing his worth in the PDC since switching over earlier this year.
The duo have faced each other twice before, with a win apiece, and this battle has the potential to go the distance. Back Chuck, therefore, at 9/2 to defeat The Thorn 3-2.
Michael Smith v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Former World Youth champion Smith (1/4) has been touted by a few to be a shock title winner at this year’s event, and should be able to easily dispatch of Dutch teenager The Black Cobra (3/1).
Bully Boy, a semi-finalist at the Grand Slam of Darts recently, is 15/8 to whitewash De Zwaan 3-0, while is a tempting 50/1 shout to lift the trophy.
James Wade v Scheffer/Michael
Eight-time major champion Wade has been handed a favourable tie with one of preliminary round qualifiers Scheffer or Michael, and will be heavily backed to beat either.
This event is perhaps the one tournament The Machine has failed at, although most players on tour will be happy to reach just one semi-final in their career let alone Wade’s three. Like Smith, the left-hander is a decent outsider to go all the way at 20/1.
Check out more from our dedicated darts archive, where you’ll find much more on the 2016 PDC World Darts Championship.
Coral’s top tip: Thornton has been handed a tough test for the first round, and you can back his opponent Norris at 6/4 to win.