2016 PDC World Darts Championship
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PDC WDC round 1: Wright on opening night, Anderson begins defence

Holly Thackeray | December 16, 2015

Day 1: First round evening session plus preliminary action

  • 2016 PDC World Darts Championship
  • Thursday, December 17th
  • Session from: 19:10-23:00 GMT
  • Alexandra Palace, London
  • Live on Sky Sports Darts and Sky Sports 2

Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and co raise curtain

The 2016 PDC World Darts Championship finally arrives on Thursday evening, amid much fanfare, with four top fixtures warming up the stage for a weekend of arrowsmith excellence ahead.

First up as an appetiser, is a preliminary round wrangle between Andy Boulton and Per Laursen, for the honour of facing title holder Gary Anderson later in the evening. While, further first round frays see Peter Wright, Keegan Brown, Jamie Lewis and Daryl Gurney get proceedings underway.

So, Coral bring customers our best bets for the opening evening…

Preliminary round (best of three sets, no tie-break)

Andy Boulton v Per Laursen

Darts - 2011 BDO World Professional Darts Championship - Day Three - Lakeside Complex
Former BDO also-rans Boulton and Laursen must jostle to decide who gets to take on current world champion Anderson in a daunting first round duel, with the opening match just a best of three sets battle.

These two have never tussled before, but X-Factor is odds-on favourite at 8/15 to reach the last 32 for the first time, despite Danish dartsman Laursen (11/8) knowing what it takes to reach that stage, having done so three times before. It may not be so cut and dry for recent PDC convert Boulton, then, though he is ranked 37 places above his rival.

First Round

Jamie Lewis v Daryl Gurney

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Four - Alexandra Palace

Northern Irish oche star Gurney (11/10) has won three of two against his Welsh opponent, though Lewis (8/11) has come on leaps and bounds, recently reaching the World Grand Prix quarter-finals, which is justly reflected in his price.

So, for more value, back Rasta’s rumble with Dude to be a close contest as their last dust-up ended with just a one leg difference, and there are superb odds of 7/2 for this match to finish 3-2 in Lewis’ favour. Alternatively, plump for the closely matched pair at 9/2 to rack-up an equal number of 180s.

Peter Wright v Keegan Brown

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Eleven - Alexandra Palace
Brown has an appetite for upsets, and has shown he can run the likes of Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis ragged, so there may not be the gulf in class here which names alone suggest.

Still, although the temptation would be to back The Needle at 9/4 to shock and sew up this scuffle, Snakebite’s experience should see him through at 1/3.

The colourful Scottish character should come out all guns blazing and is 9/4 to be King of the Oche on this occasion (player to win match, most 180s and highest checkout. If any of the markets are tied, bets will be settled as losers), or 21/10 for a magic maximum in the first set of leg one.

Gary Anderson v Boulton/Laursen

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Fourteen - Alexandra Palace
Of course, this clash is yet to be decided but, although Anderson is considered out of form at the moment, the Flying Scotsman should have an easily winnable fixture, whoever makes it through. At just 13/2 third favourite to retain this title, the world champ has a point to prove.

Related

Our dedicated darts page is the place to be for all the latest World Championship previews and news.

Coral’s top tip: Back Lewis at superb odds of 7/2 to beat Gurney 3-2.

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