World Grand Prix of Darts begins with crunch duels in Dublin
Dublin welcomes darting superstars for the opening day of the World Grand Prix, as Raymond van Barneveld, Michael van Gerwen, Adrian Lewis, Dave Chisnall and Peter Wright all take to the Irish oche on Sunday evening.
Here Coral experts run the rule over the first thrilling eight fixtures, featuring some fascinating top-draw matches. Fans and customers are in for a treat…
Peter Wright v Dave Chisnall
While viewers wonder just what eccentric hair-style Snakebite will debut in Dublin, Coral have his opponent Chizzy as odds-on 8/11 favourite and tempting at 12/5 to beat Wright 2-1.
Despite regularly threatening to take a major title, also-ran Wright has fallen away of late, meaning the Scottish arrowsmith is just 11/10 for victory against his ever-improving English opponent. Seven victories to four in Chisnall’s favour back this up, with the 180 specialist (6/5 to rack-up the most maximums in set one) also a previous Grand Prix finalist in 2013.
Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld
With the potential to be the highlight contest of the round, one of darting juggernauts Jackpot or Barney will fall at the first hurdle here.
Lewis, fresh from a narrow 11-10 victory against veteran Van Barneveld to clinch the Auckland Masters trophy, is understandably 4/6 favourite for this tussle. Yet, backing Barney, twice a runner-up in the Emerald Isle, at 6/5 to win may prove more fruitful.
The original Dutch dangerman has slowly been regaining form and, if not for throwing away the final leg in New Zealand, could be favourite here. With his Barney Army in tow, take odds of 3/1 for a 2-1 revenge result by one of the all-time greats.
Michael van Gerwen v Keegan Brown
Mighty Mike has been inconsistent of late, winning for the first time ever at the Winter Gardens before struggling on the road in Oceania. Yet, the powerful thrower is always one to watch and should get off to a great start in the Grand Prix as he aims to retain his title.
Twice a victor in this tournament, Van Gerwen is 1/7 to triumph in his opening encounter and 7/4 to be King of the Oche (player to win match, most 180s and highest checkout. If any of the markets are tied, bets will be settled as losers).
Though up-and-comer Brown has bested the Dutch master before, in one of the pair’s three previous clashes, making the PDC Young Player of the Year a brilliant outside bet at 9/2 to upset the apple cart again.
Mark Webster v Stephen Bunting
Bunting has never beaten Welshman Webster in three meetings, but The Bullet has a higher ceiling and made great strides recently, despite bowing out in the first round of the World Matchplay. The Liverpudlian is therefore good value at 11/5 to take this tie 2-1.
Kim Huybrechts v Benito van de Pas
Young Dutch dartsman Van de Pas holds a head-to-head to record of five wins to one against older Belgian peer Huybrechts, and is worth a punt a 11/8 for victory. Big Ben has both the talent and composure to test his sometimes impulsive counterpart.
Jelle Klaasen v Brendan Dolan
Cobra Klaasen has had the better of the past two battles with Northern Irishman Dolan, with both triumphs arriving this calendar year, so back him at 9/4 to win 2-1.
Michael Smith v Gerwyn Price
Former rugby union star Price has taken the spoils from the two most recent match-ups between these two outsiders, so the Iceman is worth a try at 7/4 to make it three successive wins against Smith.
William O’Connor v Jamie Lewis
This clash should be close, but O’Connor’s experience and the backing of the Irish home crowd could just see him edge promising young pretender Lewis at 4/5.
Betting tip: Barney @ 3/1 to beat Jackpot 2-1