With only days to go until the start, of the William Hill PDC World Darts Championship, we asked our writers and contributors to select their favourite for the title, a ‘dark horse’ and an outsider who might cause a shock or two. Here are their thoughts:
Fav: MVG , Dark Horse: Ian White, Outsider: Lourance Ilagan
It is tough to see past MVG at the moment. He is back in the winning habit and, although not as dominant, still the one to beat. Micheal is scheduled to meet my Dark Horse in the Qtr-finals and has quite a tough route but he should still have enough to claim a fourth title. Ian White has under-performed on TV for at least five years. However things may have turned in his favour at last. He reached the last four at Minehead and was playing very good solid darts. Ian has a few things that have held him back over a two week, long format, event previously. Perhaps its time for our ‘Diamond’ to show how tough he can be? Lourance is superb to watch and is getting more and more experienced in all formats and codes. If he can get a win under his belt he could be a match for anyone.
JR LOTT – (The Columnist)
JR spotted both Rob Cross for the Matchplay, and Ian White’s recent form, before most pundits. Yet he has picked neither to win the World Championships.
Fav: Gary Anderson, Dark Horse: Adrian Lewis, Outsider: Krystof Ratajadski
I have a hunch that this might be a very unconventional event but with big names coming through at the finish. Thus both my main choices are previous world champions. Both Adrian and Anderson are ranked lower than previous and are trying to get back to former glories. Both may gain from a long event to really wirk their way into it and hit their peak at the right time. If either gets motoring then they may prove unstoppable. Krystof is a superb player who has adapted to the PDC like a duck to water. It is only a matter of time before he has a big impact on a major event. His experience, winning the World Masters, makes him different to most outsiders. When the chips are down this guy can hit the target and take the trophy.
The Wizard (Former World Qtr Finalist) –
Fav: Gerwyn Price, Dark Horse: Chris Dobey, Outsider:Gabriel Clemens
Darts World contributor, and Major Finalist, Colin ‘The Wizard’ Osborne has gone with the the players instinct that people on a roll can do well. With Gerwyn’s recent success and finally being able to defeat MVG being important factors. Chris Dobey is a name that is being mentioned, as one who could go a long way, by many. Colin’s outsider is ‘The Giant’ himself Gabriel Clemens. The Wizard reckon’s that Clemens is in mighty fine shape and damage his Qtr of the draw quite severely!
The Manufacturer –
Those involved in the darts business look at a lot of data, and canvass a lot of opinions, its in their interest to do so. Whether its signing a new player, making a new model or entering a new market, they tend to gather many view and not often give them but we managed to get one to commit:
Fav: Gerwyn Price, Dark Horse: Rob Cross, Outsider: Jamie Hughes
A real mixed bag here, our business expert goes for the in form Price, mainly due seeing him as on an upward curve. His second pick is a cop out! Rob Cross as a ‘dark horse’, more like a white charger! But perhaps some bets are being hedged there? His outsider is very interesting. Jamie Hughes is a superb player when he is at the top of his game, Hughes’ victory on the European Tour proves his can win titles, yet he has not seemed at his best since. Could some one know something we don’t?
The Official’s Verdict:
John Fowler is a referee and MC. He has recently made his televised event debut at the World Trophy & World Masters events. He works will players from every code and indeed almost every era.
Fav: Rob Cross, Dark Horse:Glenn Durrant, Outsider: Steve Beaton
John tired to hedge his bets on these questions and provided two for each catagory! We have selected the ones that no one else has picked so far! The selection of Cross for the title is a pretty shrewd one. It is possible that many of the other high ranked and in form players dfeat each other and Cross comes through to claim a second title. Glen Durrant is a great pick for a dark horse. he has made the Qtrs & Semis for the last few majors and knows how to win a long event under the highest pressure. Another first time champ?
Lastly, John has both an eye for value and is a romantic at heart. His selection of Steve Beaton, as an outside to do damage, has an element of both. Despite not having a good Ally Pally record he is playing very well and might benefit from being disregarded. The 500/1 price tag is almost disrespectful.
So who will look smug in January or who will look the mug? We’ll be sure to update you after this year’s event.