Kim Huybrechts will play Geert Nentjes in the second match of the 2020 PDC World Championship.

Read below for the second of 32 match previews for the World Championship first round ties.

Facts and figures

Match time/date: 20:00, December 13

Head-to-head record: Huybrechts 1-0 Nentjes

Previous meeting: Huybrechts 6-5 Nentjes, Players Championship 2 (February 2019)

Best major performance this season: Last 32, UK Open (Huybrechts); Last 64, UK Open (Nentjes)

Previous PDC World Championship appearances: Huybrechts 8, Nentjes 1

Best PDC World Championship performance: Quarter-finals, 2012 (Huybrechts); Last 96, 2019 (Nentjes)

Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Photo: Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Preview

It’s a Benelux derby as Dutch prodigy Geert Nentjes battles Belgian ace Kim Huybrechts. This is part of a very swift learning curve for Nentjes; just like last year, the southpaw reaches the Ally Pally through the Development Tour. It’s clear that his best days are yet to come. The opposite might be true of his opponent. Now 34, Huybrechts isn’t the young buck who stormed onto the scene and looked a potential major champion. Having not done as much as reach a major quarter-final in the last two-and-a-half years, he wasn’t even close to being a seed this year.

The pair couldn’t have had more contrasting fortunes this time last year, when they played during the same session at the Ally Pally. Nentjes, visibly nervy on debut, averaged 78 in a meek defeat to Nathan Aspinall. The 103 average Huybrechts produced in a scintillating thrashing of Daniel Larsson was bettered only by Jeffrey de Zwaan and Dimitri van den Bergh in the first two rounds of play. However, that run ended before the Hurricane could make a serious dent in the tournament – a running theme since his 2012 debut.

Huybrechts’ last five World Championship exits were at the third round (2015, 2017, 2019) and first round (2016, 2018). Life isn’t so simple that patterns keep repeating themselves but if they do, it’s great news for Nentjes.

Prediction

Nentjes might be the favourite if this were the 2025 World Championship, but we’re not quite there yet. In fairness, Huybrechts has been a couple of close shaves from much more impressive results in 2019. And he’ll use his scoring power to overcome the 21-year-old. Huybrechts 3-0 Nentjes is the prediction for this tie.

Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Photo: Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

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Author: Ed McCosh