World Cup of Darts Day 2 first round: England kick off title defence
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | June 2, 2016
2016 World Cup of Darts
- Friday, June 3rd
- Day 2 session from: 19:00-23:00 BST
- Eissporthalle, Frankfurt am Main
- Live on Sky Sports 1
England hoping to avoid Spain upset
It’s the second day of the annual World Cup of Darts, and a whole host of stars are set to tussle on the Frankfurt oche from the likes of nations England (title holders), Wales, Austria, Northern Ireland and Canada.
Former multiple world champions Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis and John Part all feature, and will be hoping to avoid first round shocks to make it to Friday.
Read on for Coral’s previews of the eight Friday battles…
Czech Republic v China
Neither nation has ever won a match at a World Cup, but Czech Republic have been named the odds-on 4/6 favourites as they fared better in last year’s edition.
The Czechs boast relative unknowns Michal Kocik and Pavel Drtil, who was supposed to take part in the first World Cup in 2010 but his team were unable to travel in the end, and can certainly take heart from taking two legs off Austria last time out.
China (6/5 chances) are taking part in their third straight finals, but were whitewashed last year by Asian rivals Japan. Back a 5-3 scoreline at 9/2 in favour of Czech Republic.
Greece v Canada
Despite three-time world champion Part having taken part in all five previous World Cups, Canada have never reached the quarters, although did almost knock out eventual winners England in 2012.
However, they face new-comers Greece (7/4 match shouts) this time, who they are 4/9 favourites to beat.
This could be a close encounter, with the charismatic John Michael on the Europeans’ side. Odds of 5/6 say there’ll be over 7.5 legs, but a more enticing price of 5/1 can be taken on Canada to come through 5-4.
Republic of Ireland v Hong Kong
This is a rematch of last year’s second round clash, when Hong Kong took an unlikely victory after just shocking Wales in round one.
William O’Connor and Mick McGowan are long-standing partners at World Cups, having started out together at the 2010 finals, and are establish players on tour.
However, Hong Kong have cult heroes Royden Lam and Scott MacKenzie once again, and are highly tempting 13/10 shouts for another upset.
South Africa v Singapore
Another character takes to the stage on Friday, as Devon Petersen will lead the way for South Africa, no doubt right after treating the German crowd to some dancing moves.
The Spartan’s nation are heavy 1/3 favourites for victory over Singapore (9/4), who themselves boast one of the legends of the game in Paul Lim.
While the Singapore Slinger is now 62, he’ll always be remembered for throwing the first ever World Championship nine-darter way back in 1990.
Northern Ireland v Japan
Northern Ireland (2/7) are the first of the seeded countries to take part on Friday night, though have a tough first round clash against Japan (13/5), who are ever-improving as a darting nation.
Players Championship Finals semi-finalist Daryl Gurney makes his first World Cup appearance to partner Brendan Dolan, after replacing Michael Mansell, and Norn Iron are tasty 33/1 outsiders to lift their first title. They are 10/1 to reach the final.
Wales v Finland
Wales (2/9 favourites) have also made one change to their team, as rising star Gerwyn Price joins former BDO world champion Mark Webster.
Finland (10/3) have the same paring as last year, but have no real chance of causing an upset here. There could be a whitewash, and the Welsh are 6/1 to triumph 5-0.
England v Spain
Defending champions and three-time winners England are once again represented by Taylor and Lewis, though may not have it all their way against Spain, who will hope to count on islanders Cristo Reyes (from Canary Islands) and Antonio Alcinas (Mallorca).
England are the clear 1/10 odds-on favourites, but their fellow Europeans are 6/1 to cause a huge first round shock.
Reyes in particular has the potential to beat most players in the world on his day, so Spain are 5/1 to take three legs off their opponents.
Austria v Italy
To finish up the evening and round, World Cup dark horses Austria (33/1 to win the title) take on Italy, who lost to Gibraltar last year.
With a great deal of experience and up-and-coming combo of Mensur Suljovic and Rowby-John Rodriguez, another whitewash is possible here. Austria are 1/6 to triumph, and 5/1 to do so 5-0.
Coral’s top tip: Austria are a fantastic 5/1 price to thrash Italy 5-0.