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Players Championship Finals: First round features Bunting, Jenkins

Holly Thackeray | November 26, 2015

First round afternoon session

  • Players Championship Finals
  • Friday, November 27th
  • First round afternoon session begins: 12.45-17:00 GMT
  • Butlins, Minehead, Somerset
  • Live on ITV4

Players Championship Finals first day begins in style

Having already run the rule over the Players Championship Finals favourites, Coral oche experts now take a look at the tungsten titans preparing to tussle in the first round afternoon session, which runs from 12:45 – 17:00 GMT on November 27th.

There will be further Friday fixtures from 19:00 GMT, including a thriller between darting giants Gary Anderson and Phil Taylor, so keep your eyes peeled for our first round evening session preview.

However, here we begin with the opening eight intriguing Minehead match-ups, starring the likes of Stephen Bunting, Terry Jenkins and Mensur Suljovic.

Justin Pipe v Vincent van der Voort

Darts - Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championships - Day Eleven - Alexandra Palace
All the Dutch darting hype may surround a revived Raymond van Barneveld and an unplayable Michael van Gerwen approaching the peak of his powers, but there is also another excellent oche star from the Netherlands in Van der Voort.

The Dutch Destroyer is odds-on at 8/11 to push past Taunton-born tungsten battler Pipe (11/10), having defeated The Force in eight of their previous 11 frays. Why not take a more tempting price of 6/1 for Van der Voort to win 6-3, though, as the veteran tends to beat this foe by big margins.

Terry Jenkins v Alan Norris

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Three - Alexandra Palace
Jenkins is flavour of the month, though not for Glasgow fans, after sinking Scottish home hope Gary Anderson in the World Series of Darts Finals. With such a huge scalp to his name recently, punters can back The Bull as 4/6 favourite to beat Norris, a recent cross-over from the BDO.

Chuck will not make for easy prey, having finished as runner-up in the 2014 BDO World Championships, and being Somerset-born should have the backing of locals, but still looks an outside shout at 6/5 to reach the second round.

Jelle Klaasen v Gerwyn Price

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day One - Alexandra Palace
Big-name Dutchman Klaasen has been threatening to make waves with fine performances toward the end of 2015, but this clash against former rugby professional Price could prove tricky, though The Cobra is a heavy 8/15 favourite to emerge as victor.

Welsh opponent The Iceman is longer at 6/4 as a dark horse after clocking up his first win against The Cobra back in July, though a close 6-5 contest with Klaasen triumphant at 11/2 may prove most profitable.

Benito van de Pas v Stephen Bunting

Darts - 2014 BDO World Professional Darts Championships - Day Nine - Lakeside Complex
Bunting (4/7) badly needs to progress and impress in this last televised major before the PDC World Championships, so is the best value bet in this battle with young-gun Van de Pas at 5/2 to come out tops and be crowned King of the Oche (player to win match, most 180s and highest checkout. If any of the markets are tied, bets will be settled as losers).

Mensur Suljovic v Mervyn King

Darts - 2014 William Hill World Darts Championship - Day Five - Alexandra Palace
Late-bloomer Suljovic has had the better of his last four darting duels against King, pulling out some royal performances to win three of those.

The Gentle is a player on the up, which is reflected in the Serbian-born star’s odds of 4/6 to make the second round at the expense of The King (6/5).

Brendan Dolan v Simon Whitlock

Darts - Sydney Darts Masters - Luna Park
The Wizard was woefully ousted from the first round of the World Series of Darts Finals by fledgling thrower Rowby-John Rodriguez, but the Aussie oche hero has a nine to four head-to-head edge against upcoming opponent The History Maker.

Whitlock (odds-on match favourite at 8/11) also took the spoils from their last scuffle in April, and should have enough darting star-dust to dispatch Dolan (11/10) again.

Michael Smith v Jamie Caven

Darts - Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championships - Day Eight - Alexandra Palace
Seeded second in this competition, Bully Boy has really exploded onto the scene of late, becoming a more prominent figure on the PDC stage. As 1/2 in-form favourite, Smith should have the measure of Caven, though their current head-to-heads stand on four apiece.

With Smith the winner in their last three meetings, however, place a stake on the up-and-coming tungsten talent at 5/1 to take the spoils from a 6-3 scoreline in Somerset.

Kim Huybrechts v Daryl Gurney

International Darts Open in Riesa
Hitman Huybrechts (4/11) is capable of a dash of darting brilliance on his day, and the Belgian should have enough in the tank to defeat Derry-born Dude, who is a real outsider at 21/10 for a shock triumph.

Having lost to Gurney just once before, The Hurricane is 5/1 to storm past his Northern Irish opponent by 6-4, a repeat of their last meeting.

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Coral’s top tip: Back Bunting at a fabulous 5/2 to be King of the Oche in his contest with youngster Van de Pas.