PDC WDC round 1: Van de Pas and Hopp in battle of young guns
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | December 22, 2015
Day 7: First round evening session
- 2016 PDC World Darts Championship
- Wednesday, December 23rd
- Session from: 19:10-23:00 GMT
- Alexandra Palace, London
- Live on Sky Sports Darts and Sky Sports 1
Past world champs Lewis and Klaasen in action
Coral preview the final set of first round fixtures at the 2016 PDC World Darts Championship to cap off an opening week of terrific action at the Ally Pally, before a two day mid-tournament break for Christmas Eve and Day.
The pick of the matches on day seven are between two rising stars of the game in Dutchman Benito van de Pas and recent World Youth Championship winner Max Hopp of Germany.
Two past world champs in Adrian Lewis (twice in the PDC) and Jelle Klaasen (BDO) also feature, as does rugby convert Gerwyn Price.
Read on to see our previews of the four fixtures on Wednesday evening, and check out our reaction of the action last night too…
Andrew Gilding v Gerwyn Price
To kick off the session, emerging star Price has been handed a duel with 28th seed Gilding and, despite being ranked lower than him as well as only taking up darts professionally two years ago, is the slight 4/5 odds-on favourite.
That may be due to the fact that Welshman Price has made a dramatic rise since switching sports from rugby league and union, and has seen off a number of star names in TV events already.
His quarter-final achievement at the World Matchplay in the summer highlighted a brilliant 2015, in which he defeated Michael Smith and Adrian Lewis (a potential second round opponent) along the way.
Neither player have got past the first round of this event, after their first appearance last year, but back the ultra-competitive Iceman at 10/3 to topple UK Open semi-finalist Goldfinger and win 3-1.
Benito van de Pas v Max Hopp
This clash has the potential to go all the way, with two hungry youngsters Van de Pas and Hopp likely to battle until the end to make it through to face Dimitri van den Bergh, certainly a winnable opponent.
It is the slightly older Dutchman Big Ben (22) who has won both meetings this year, though, so is the odds-on 8/15 favourite to beat 19-year-old Maximiser, priced at 6/4.
Quarter-finalist at the Players Championship Finals, Van de Pas is an enticing 10/3 shout to triumph 3-2 over recent World Youth champ Hopp.
Adrian Lewis v Jan Dekker
Double PDC World Championship winner Lewis is no doubt the biggest name of the night, and is highly unlikely to join fellow top 10 seeds Robert Thornton, Ian White and Simon Whitlock out at the first stage.
Jackpot, who enticed us all by hinting he may change his walk-on song for this Ally Pally event, may not have it all his own way, though, despite being the heavy 1/8 odds-on favourite.
A recent convert to the PDC, Dutchman Double Dekker twice reached the semis of the BDO version of the World Championship, so is a tempting 5/1 price. But Lewis is a great shout at 2/1 to win 3-1.
Jelle Klaasen v Joe Cullen
Yet another Dutchman features on the night, and 2006 BDO world champ Klaasen is odds-on at 2/5 to beat Bradford-born Cullen (2/1), who has failed to get past the last 64 in each of the last five years.
The Cobra has beaten young Yorkshireman Cullen four times from five meetings, including on both occasions this year, so back him at 5/2 for a comfortable 3-1 victory.
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: In this battle between two youngsters, back Van de Pas to gain a third successive win over Hopp, and to do so 3-2 at 10/3.