Cristo Reyes and Lourence Ilagan clash at the World Championship in December.

The pair will meet for the first time in a first round game. It immediately follows Ryan Searle vs Robbie King – which you can see a preview for here. If it’s the whole World Championship schedule you want to see, we’ve got something for that, too.

Facts and figures

Match time/date: 13:30, December 17

Head-to-head record: First meeting

Previous meeting: N/A

Best major performance this season: Last 16, UK Open (Reyes); N/A (Ilagan)

Previous PDC World Championship appearances:  Reyes 5, Ilagan 3

Best PDC World Championship performance: Third Round, 2015 & 2019 (Reyes); First Round, 2013 & 2019 (Ilagan)

Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Photo: Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Preview

Cristo Reyes finds himself in a slightly unusual position as a match favourite. Most of his best World Championship work has been done as an underdog. There was that famous win against Wes Newton, and a deciding leg so good, they almost played it twice. He was also the first Spaniard ever to reach the third round of this competition. However, Iberian darts has found a new flagbearer in Jose de Sousa. Reyes is at risk of being left behind. A sub-par season has seen him slip outside of the world’s top 40.

Lourence Ilagan is right up there with the international qualifiers you’d least want to draw. The Filipino excelled in the Asian Tour yet again, sweeping up event wins and finishing first in the continental Order of Merit. He hasn’t performed well at the World Championship – Ilagan’s only win was in the preliminary round against Jamie Lewis seven years ago – but he has the ability to threaten.

Prediction

It feels like we haven’t included enough ‘shocks’ so far. This feels like a possible one. Noel Malicdem was able to land a blow for the Philippines last year; we’re backing Ilagan to do it this time. Cristo Reyes 2-3 Lourence Ilagan would land the 41-year-old a second round meeting with Adrian Lewis.

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Author: Ed McCosh