2017 PDC Worlds day 4 preview: Taylor begins possible last Ally Pally campaign
2017 PDC World Championship
- First round, day four
- Sunday, December 18th
- First session starts: 13:00 GMT
- Second session starts: 19:00 GMT
- Alexandra Palace, London
- Live on Sky Sports Darts (3)
Taylor tops the card on Sunday
We’re now half-way in to the 2017 World Championship first round, and what a treat darts fans will have on the last Sunday before Christmas, as the arrowsmith king himself Phil Taylor takes to the oche.
The 16-time world champion has hinted in recent months that he aims to fizzle out of the sport, so it may be the last chance to see him at the Alexandra Palace. Though, that’s unlikely to be on day four as he faces the winner of preliminary round duo Kevin Simm v Gilbert Ulang.
Other stars on show include Ian White, Alan Norris, Daryl Gurney and former BDO world champion Mark Webster, while young gun Chris Dobey is also in action, and there’ll no doubt be another walk-on spectacle from John Michael.
So, read on to check out our 2017 PDC Worlds day 4 preview…
Kevin Simm v Gilbert Ulang
Fans may remember Gilbert Ulang (tasty 13/8 match price) earlier this year in the World Cup, after he helped his nation The Philippines to the last 16 after beating the USA.
Despite that, it is Englishman Simm who is the 1/2 favourite to reach the main draw for a tussle with White.
Justin Pipe v Chris Dobey
Next onto the Ally Pally stage is a first round match-up between Pipe and debutant Dobey, who made a courageous run to the quarters of the Grand Slam this year.
Hollywood really is a future star of the sport, and he’s even been priced as the slight 4/5 favourite to beat seeded Pipe (evens) despite being ranked 21 places below The Force.
Mark Webster v Joe Murnan
Although the BDO world champion in 2008 and starting life well in the PDC, Welshman Webster’s form has tailed off in recent years and he is now down to number 25 in the rankings.
There can certainly be a shock on the cards in this clash, as Murnan (11/8) has won each of the last three meetings with The Spider (4/7) – two of which were this year.
Ian White v Simm/Ulang
For his current (14) and previous ranking, White is one of the underachievers in darts, having never reached the semis of a major event after losing in six quarter-finals.
He has, however, claimed an impressive three Players Championship titles in Barnsley this year, and should easily be able to get past one of Simm or Ulang. He is 9/1 to win his quarter, which includes Peter Wright, James Wade and Michael Smith.
John Bowles v David Platt
Similarly aged Bowles (49) and Platt (50) are involved in the second preliminary duel of the day, and it really will be a close tussle between two veterans who have got to the main stage of the PDC World Championship before.
Bulldog Bowles is the narrow 8/11 favourite to beat English-born Australian Babyface (11/10), but there might be more value on backing the former at 12/5 to win 2-1 and set up a fairytale fixture with Taylor.
Daryl Gurney v Jermaine Wattimena
Northern Ireland’s Gurney has showed a lot of promise over the past couple of years, but you’d think now aged 30 he needs to start delivering more on the big stage.
SuperChin (1/3) has a great chance of reaching the second round for the third time here, as he has beaten first opponent The Machine Gun (11/5) in all three previous head-to-heads. Gurney is 12/5 to win 3-1.
Alan Norris v John Michael
These are two of the most passionate players in the game, but it’s very difficult to look past 2014 BDO World Championship runner-up Norris, who reached the quarters here in his first appearances last year.
Chuck (1/5) has never faced Michael (7/2), but the Greek has never got past this stage in two previous attempts. Norris is 6/4 to win 3-0.
Phil Taylor v Bowles/Platt
Taylor is last onto the oche on Sunday, but he won’t know his opponent until after Bowles and Platt’s tussle.
He’s never faced Bowles in a competitive match, but has beaten Platt in both previous meetings, including at this stage in the 2006 PDC Worlds without dropping a set. The Power is 9/1 third-favourite to lift the title for a 17th time in perhaps his last ever World Championship appearance.
For more previews, tips and features during the 2017 PDC World Championship, check out our extensive arrow archive.