PDC WDC round 2: Barney, Van Gerwen, Wade an all-star cast
Holly Thackeray | December 26, 2015
Day 9: Second round evening session
- 2016 PDC World Darts Championship
- Sunday, December 27th
- Session from: 19:15-23:00 GMT
- Alexandra Palace, London
- Live on Sky Sports Darts and Sky Sports 1
Excitement builds for Barney v Bunting, MvG and much more
Day nine of the 2016 World Darts Championship sees the big-guns out in force, as Raymond van Barneveld and Stephen Bunting battle it out in a high-profile second round rumble.
That match-up between the mighty Dutchman and The Bullet may be the star attraction, but there is much more on offer, with title favourite Michael van Gerwen also set to strut his stuff in the second round, while James Wade meets Wes Newton. Don’t forget to check out our preview for the afternoon session, either, where more dramatic darting dust-ups await.
Raymond van Barneveld v Stephen Bunting
The Bullet (a little short at 6/4 for victory with Coral) did well to whitewash recent bogey opponent Jyhan Artut in his first round fixture, to put a spell of recent poor form and early exits behind him.
Still, this mouthwatering match-up marks trouble for the St Helen’s star and is likely to be the end of the line for the Englishman, as Bunting has beaten Barney (odds-on 8/15 favourite) just once in seven previous attempts.
Revived Van Barneveld, a five-time World Champion when including the BDO version, will have the staunch backing of his Barney Army at the Ally Pally, and is looking increasingly like his formerly formidable self. The Dutchman was deadly against compatriot Dirk van Duijvenbode, who he defeated 3-0 with an average of 91.34.
The prize from this match, which will undoubtedly be fiercely fought, may well be a third round fray with world number one Van Gerwen, so expect Barney to do all he can to book a re-match after Mighty Mike just ousted him from the World Series of Darts Finals.
There has been only one previous PDC World Championship contest between these pair, which thrillingly ended 5-4 to Van Barneveld, with the Hague-born hero holding a tearful Bunting’s arm aloft to give due to his darting performance. So, back Barney at 4/1 to win by 4-3 here, with The Bullet on the losing end by one leg yet again.
James Wade v Wes Newton
In this all-English affair, in-form arrowsmith Wade is of course a heavy 1/12 odds-on favourite, as The Machine eased past Greek cult hero John Michael to seal this second round spot.
It was an almost flawless performance, with Wade barley flexing his muscles, and he looks great value at 11/8 to complete another whitewashing here, but this time by 4-0.
Newton, who somehow managed to dump out up and coming Cristo Reyes, despite having a 77.80 average compared to his opponent’s 87.05 in a bizarre battle, will not find Wade so obliging. The Warrior is really up against it on the oche here, but can be backed at an unlikely 13/2 for his luck to continue.
Michael van Gerwen v Darren Webster
Usually imperious Van Gerwen hit headlines for all the wrong reasons in his first outing, as young German Rene Eidams almost forced this Green Machine into an untimely opening round exit.
Title favourite Mighty Mike was spared that embarrassment, with his cool and composed finishing in the final two legs helping him avoid a sporting shock. It was not that the Dutchman played poorly, he was simply caught out by The Cube after initially coasting.
Still, don’t expect another near miss now Van Gerwen has got that out of his system. Webster faces this fearsome foe, likely to be incredibly fired up, at precisely the wrong time, so is generous at even long odds of 9/1 to win.
Mighty Mike is overwhelmingly odds-on at 1/20 for victory, but is better value at 5/4 to win by 4-0, or 25/1 to bounce back with a nine-darter, with the dominant Dutchman an odds-on favourite in most other scoring and maximum markets.
Further riveting World Darts Championship reads can be found on our darts page.
Coral’s top tip: Back Barney at 4/1 to oust Bunting by a 4-3 scoreline.