Boris Koltsov meets Ritchie Edhouse for a PDC World Championship first round tie.

The sole Russian representative takes on one of the 20 English players entering in the first round at the Ally Pally. We’re previewing every World Championship first round game; last time, it was Rowby-John Rodriguez versus Noel Malicdem.

Facts and figures

Match time/date: 19:00, December 17

Head-to-head record: Koltsov 1-0 Edhouse

Previous meeting: Koltsov 6-4 Edhouse, Players Championship 13 (April 2019)

Best major performance this season: N/A (Koltsov); N/A (Edhouse)

Previous PDC World Championship appearances: Koltsov 3, Edhouse 0

Best PDC World Championship performance: First Round, 2015 & 2019 (Koltsov); N/A (Edhouse)

PDC Europe

Photo: PDC Europe

Preview

Two players who know each other well from the Challenge Tour meet in the more glamorous setting of the PDC World Championship. Boris Koltsov got the better of Ritchie Edhouse in their one Pro Tour meeting so far – if he can repeat the feat, he’ll have posted his best ever Ally Pally performance.

The Russian ace performed well throughout the season in the Challenge Tour; but it was through the EADC Qualifiers that he claimed his berth here. The 31-year-old is known for his ability to post big scores, but has consistently fallen just short of claiming a Tour Card.

Edhouse had a Tour Card this time last year, but not reaching the World Championship meant that he duly lost it, and couldn’t reclaim it at Q-School. Even still, he has appeared at most Players Championship events, as well as a few European Tour tournaments. Madhouse enters this tournament as one of the Pro Tour qualifiers, which isn’t bad going considering that he’s not even on it. And if you want a reminder of his quality, remember that nine-darter struck back in February. Edhouse lost in that match, so might not dwell on it so much himself.

Prediction

There’s no clear favourite for this one – both are capable, neither has particularly proved themselves capable of making waves in stage events. Koltsov’s previous World Championship experience might do him the world of good here, however. A year on from a disappointing 3-0 loss to Chris Dobey (though Dobey was excellent, to be fair), this might be where he finally gets to the second round. James Wade awaits whoever does. We’ll say Boris Koltsov 3-2 Ritchie Edhouse.

PDC Europe

Photo: PDC Europe

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Author: Ed McCosh