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Trader’s View: PDC World Darts Championship round one and two preview

Nick Murphy | 12 December 2018

All the insight from the trading floor  

The waiting is finally over. The 2019 PDC World Darts Championship is upon us. We’ve already spoken to our man on the trading floor, Alan Vye, about his overall thoughts on the tournament.

And now we’ve enlisted his help ahead of the first and second round matches, which get going on Thursday 13th December.

Coral News: Hi Alan, let’s get down to business. The format has changed a bit this year, but Gary Anderson and Michael van Gerwen should still make it through to round three, right?   

Alan Vye: It should be a relatively straightforward path into round three for van Gerwen. Alan Tabern or Raymond Smith is as soft an opener as he could have wanted. Paul Nicholson (should he beat Kevin Burness) might nick a set off Gary Anderson, but I can’t see an upset.

CN: And what about world champion Rob Cross? It looks as though he’ll be facing a tricky test against Jeffrey de Zwaan on the opening night.

AV: Cross has a really tough looking match. De Zwaan has proved that he can beat the top players on the big stage, so Cross will need to rediscover some of last year’s form to go through. I think we could be saying goodbye to the reigning champ on the opening night.

CN: Looking more generally at the seeds, are there any you expect to struggle? Where are you seeing the shocks coming in the first and second round this year?

AV: Ryan Joyce or Steve Lennon are both big improvers on the tour and could worry Simon Whitlock. Similarly, James Wade could easily find himself out in round two at the hands of promising Pole Krzysztof Ratajski .

Brendan Dolan played as well as he has done for a number of years in last month’s Players Championship Finals. He faces Joe Cullen, who has wretched form at the worlds, with just one main draw win as many years. That could continue here.

CN: What about last year’s surprise packages like Dimitri Van den Bergh and Jamie Lewis? Could they find life tougher this time around?

AV: Both of these players seem to save their best stuff for the TV tournaments.

Jamie Lewis produced his best performance of the year in beating Dimitri Van den Bergh (109.82 average) at the World Series Final last month. I can see him getting past Martin Schindler or Cody Harris in round two but I think that’s as far as he will go.

Van den Bergh had a great run to the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam and seems to be peaking at the right time. Jonny Clayton in round two will be tough, though. If the Belgian gets past him, then I think he’ll reach the quarter-finals again. Michael Smith or Mensur Suljovic should lie in wait for him, so I think that might be where he exits once again.

CN: And looking closer at the first round matches, in particular, which one do you reckon will produce the most 180s?

AV: Rapid Ricky Evans v Rowby-John Rodriguez should be a lipstick hitting fest!

CN: Anastasia Dobromyslova and Lisa Ashton both face tricky tests too. How do you see them getting on?

AV: If Ryan Joyce (v Dobromyslova) and Jan Dekker (vs Ashton) hold their nerve I don’t see any dramatic headlines. I do think Ashton can take a set off Dekker however. A 3-1 win for Dekker is 9/4.

CN: Are there any bets from the first round matches you like the look of? 

AV: I think Ryan Searle has shown enough on tour and stage this year to take care of Stephen Burton at 4/6. Gabriel Clemens look to be in a different league to Aden Kirk, too, so I think he would be worth chancing on the handicap – -2.5 is 13/5.

Paul Lim and Lourence Ilagan have both been hitting 180s for fun on the PDC Asian Tour. They could be worth looking at in the most 180s market in their respective matches. Lim is 9/5 to hit more maximums than Ross Smith, while Ilagan is 7/2 to chalk up more than Vincent van der Voort. 

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