World Championship 1st round: Wade, Chisnall face evening clashes
Coral preview day four of the first round of the PDC World Darts Championship, where a whole host of the sports’ top players are packed into two sessions on Sunday.
The likes of pantomime villain Paul Nicholson and Dean Winstanley highlight the afternoon, while superstars Kim Huybrechts, Dave Chisnall and James Wade feature in the evening.
Paul Nicholson (25) v Benito van de Pas
Newcastle-born Australian Nicholson has failed to live up to his quarter-finals appearance here in 2009, but in fairness to him he has always gone out to tough opposition since.
Unfortunately, the Asset has a difficult quarter again, with his respective 2010 and 2013 World Championship conquerers Terry Jenkins and Robert Thornton, as well as Michael van Gerwen and Chisnall potential challengers. He goes up first against Dutch rising star Van de Pas, with both priced at 10/11 for victory.
Mark Webster (31) v Ron Meulenkamp
Welshman Webster was a winner of the BDO version of this tournament in 2008, and finished third in the PDC World Championship in 2010.
Spider (odds-on at 4/11) simply loves this event and Dutchman Meulenkamp (21/10) shouldn’t trouble him too much. The winner faces 16-time champion Phil Taylor.
Dean Winstanley (26) v Wayne Jones
Winstanley is the 4/11 favourite in this all-English battle, despite never getting past the second round here and veteran Jones (21/10) being a semi-finalst of this tournament back in 2006.
Kevin Painter (20) v Boris Koltsov/Haruki Muramatsu
The Artist was runner-up here in 2002, and has only been knocked out of the opening round twice since. He faces one of Russian Koltsov (6/4) and Muramastsu (1/2) of Japan.
Kim Huybrechts (18) v Michael Mansell
Mansell has won the last two meetings between the duo, but this year’s Grand Slam of Darts semi-finalist Huybrechts has the advantage of having what it takes to make it past the first round here.
The Belgian is the heavy odds-on favourite at 1/4, but Northern Irishman Mansell is a tempting 3/1 chance, and 15/2 to take a 3-2 victory.
Dave Chisnall (8) v Ryan de Vreede
World number eight Chisnall has surprisingly never progressed past the third round of the PDC World Championship in three attempts, but was a runner-up in the BDO version.
The 2014 Grand Slam of Darts runner-up (odds-on at 1/10) will have far too much quality for young Dutchman De Vreede (6/1) to trouble him, though.
James Wade (6) v Jamie Lewis
Wade (1/8) is a modern great of the game, but surprisingly yet to progress past the semis at this event. He faces a potentially tricky tie against up-and-coming Lewis (5/1) of Wales, but is a 16/1 chance to win the tournament.
Ian White (15) v Jani Haavisto/John Michael
White, 44, has enjoyed perhaps the most successful year of his career, and is now up to number 15 in the world rankings. He was a quarter-finalist here last January and should defeat the winner of Haavisto (8/13) of Finland or Cypriot-born Greek Michael (6/5).