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The World Cup of Darts gets underway on Thursday 11th June at 7pm, and it promises to be an enthralling tournament over the next four days. The competition is in it’s fifth year, and has been expanded to 32 teams for the first time, meaning that it is now a complete knockout tournament.
England and the Netherlands have dominated the previous four World Cups, winning two apiece, and the pair are strong at the top of the betting, with Scotland the only real danger – in the eyes of the bookies at least.
The full tournament draw can be found on the PDC website, but some of the first round matches that stand out include the seeded teams against relative minnows of the game. The latter rounds consist of singles and doubles matches, but the first round is a best of nine legs doubles game. The big hitters should stroll through this first challenge, and although most are heavily odds-on, there is a case for pitching a number of favourites together to make up a decent accumulator.
Thursday 11th June
The three teams that stand out on Thursday night are England, Belgium and Australia, who take on Denmark, Philippines and Russia respectively.
England are one of the shortest priced teams to gain victory in their first round game, and it’s hard to see Denmark making any impact. England are the number 1 seed, and Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis will be keen to regain the trophy they won in 2012 and 2013. They take on Danish duo Per Laursen and Per Skau, who couldn’t have landed a tougher draw. The English pair beat Thailand 5-0 in the first round of last year’s tournament, and a similar result would be no surprise. There may be some value closer to the match start time in backing England on the handicap, as there is every chance they can progress through this game without dropping many legs – if any at all.
Belgium – 1/4 1.25 -400 0.25 -4.00 0.25 with Coral
Also on Thursday evening is Belgium’s tie with the Philippines, and the Huybrecht brothers are expected to make light work of Lourence Ilagan and Gilbert Ulang. The Belgian brothers have a good chemistry when they play together, and that took them to the final in 2013. The fifth seeds are fancied to go far in the competition and represent a decent each way punt at 25/1 26.00 +2500 25.00 25.00 -0.04 for the value hunters among you. Backing Belgium to win the tournament or reach the final, with a view to laying it off later to lock in a profit, is a viable option. Regardless of how far they go in the competition though, they still should be plenty good enough to take this match with the minimum of fuss.
Australia – 5/19 1.26 -380 0.26 -3.80 0.26 with Bwin
A similar case can be made for backing Australia with a view to laying off the bet at a later stage, and we’ve recommended them as an each-way bet at 25/1 26.00 +2500 25.00 25.00 -0.04 alongside our main tip on the Netherlands. The Aussies will be represented by Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson, and are fourth seeds for the tournament. They will play the Russian debutants, Boris Koltsov and Aleksei Kadochnikov. That’s something of a baptism of fire for the Russian newcomers, and they are not expected to get much change out of the experienced Belgian duo.
Friday 12th June
Moving into Friday, the second half of the first round will be completed, and both Scotland and the Netherlands look formidable. They face Singapore and USA respectively, in a pair of hugely one-sided games.
Scotland – 1/7 1.14 -700 0.14 -7.00 0.14 with Bwin
Gary Anderson and Peter Wright will represent Scotland, and both are experienced Premier League campaigners. Anderson is having an awesome year after winning the World Championships and the Premier League, and he will be ably supported by the flamboyant Wright. They may look a strange pairing, but the combination of Anderson’s grit and determination with Wright’s showmanship, creates a devastating partnership. The two players have never appeared in the tournament together, and they will bring a new dynamic to the Scottish challenge this time around.
The Singapore pairing of Paul Lim and Harith Lim stand very little chance of getting anything from this game, especially if Anderson and Wright bring their best form to the table. The Scots are seeded number two for the competition, ahead of the Dutch, and they are expected to reach the later stages of the competition at least, if not the final itself.
Our tip for the whole tournament is with the Netherlands, due to the fact that both Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld are in such good form at the moment. Barney will be attempting a hat-trick of World Cup wins, after taking the inaugural tournament in 2010 alongside Co Stompe, and last year’s trophy with van Gerwen. The pair walked the final against England last year, with van Gerwen whitewashing Taylor in the opening game, and van Barneveld following it up with victory over Lewis. Michael van Gerwen then took the next singles match against Lewis 4-2 to secure a 3-0 overall win for the Dutch.
Netherlands will compete against the USA pairing of Darin Young and former World Matchplay winner, Larry Butler. That partnership has competed in the last two World Cups, so they have that little bit of experience, but they were knocked out by England last year in the second round and will have cursed their luck to draw one of the favourites, and number three seeds in the first round.
One is not usually an advocate of backing short-priced favourites, but in this instance it’s difficult to see any of the fancied teams getting turned over.
All five teams to win – 119/100 2.19 +119 1.19 1.19 -0.84 with Bwin
World Cup of Darts, Thursday 11th/Friday 12th June:
England, Belgium, Australia, Scotland, Netherlands all to win first round matches:
Best Odds – 119/100 2.19 +119 1.19 1.19 -0.84 with Bwin